Introba is providing mechanical, electrical, plumbing, energy modeling, and sustainability consulting for the University of Toronto's Indigenous House in Scarborough, ON, Canada.
Indigenous House at the University of Toronto Scarborough will exemplify Indigenous cultural values focusing on scholarship and revitalizing endangered indigenous languages. The building will have spaces for teaching, research, reflection, and ceremony for Indigenous students, faculty and staff, and the non-Indigenous campus community. Additionally, the facility will be welcoming and inclusive, providing opportunities for learning about Indigenous culture, place-making, traditions, and stories.
A defining feature of the building is its commitment to using passive means to maintain comfort without the use of extensive cooling. Carefully designed shading systems limit solar gains into the building, allowing for a carefully calibrated natural ventilation design to provide passive ventilation and cooling to the building using stack effect. A large intake duct integrated into a totem located to the west of the building routes the air underground where it is passively conditioned by the earth as it travels to the basement mechanical room. Buried supply ducts feather out from the basement mechanical room to provide fresh air and additional cooling to the building from below. This integrated architectural and mechanical design draws from the traditional wig wam structure and provides a connection to traditional means of conditioning.
The site has sweeping views of the forested ravines to the southwest. The building's siting and construction will adhere to Toronto and Region Conservation Authority's top-of-bank setbacks and ravine protection requirements.
Passive House Design Principles
Exemplifies Indigenous cultural values focusing on scholarship and revitalizing endangered indigenous languages
Providing space for teaching, research, reflection, and ceremony spaces for Indigenous students, faculty and staff, and the non-Indigenous campus community
Totem feature will symbolize the Indigenous culture and provide fresh air to the building through a labyrinth of buried earth tubes
Photo Credit: Handel Architects