The Brief

Layering environmental considerations into urban designs can create positive ripple effects right across a city. We teamed with Zeidler Partnership Architects to cultivate innovate ways of managing stormwater at Ryerson University’s downtown campus.

Project Overview

Bridging urban environments and environmental priorities

Connecting urban spaces with an environmental focus transforms our cities for the better. The Ryerson University Student Learning Centre constitutes an important redevelopment site in the heart of Toronto. Our team was engaged to provide site servicing, grading and stormwater management designs for the building, and assist in securing LEED credits tied to those priority areas.

Thinking green means thinking creatively. At Ryerson, we created a compelling plan to manage stormwater in future-forward ways. At 14,400 m2 and spanning a 0.2 ha lot, the building itself is anything but small. By designing green roofs to cover half of the total roof area, we implemented an innovative means of managing stormwater. We incorporated a 50 m3 rainwater harvesting tank to collect runoff from the entire roof. That harvested water could then be used for irrigation, and toilet flushing within the building. Last but not least, an 88 m3 detention take was created to collect runoff from at-grade surfaces, and manage any excess flow from the rainwater harvesting tank. This runoff water would be temporarily stored in the detention tank, before being released at an allowable rate through an orifice.

As our designs came to life through the construction phase, we carried out ongoing site reviews. We also played a pivotal part in managing administration around the construction contracts.

Today, this building at the corner of Young and Gould in downtown Toronto stands as a testament to engineering ingenuity. Within one year of completing the project, the building achieved LEED Gold Status, showing when you bake the right environmental focus in at the front end, urban designs can unleash limitless possibilities.