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Keeping it green at Ontario’s FSCC

IO is committed to working with our partners to support sustainability initiatives across the portfolio of projects we’re delivering and properties we’re managing. In celebration of Earth Day 2024, here is an example of how just one building is doing its part for the environment.

Ontario’s Forensic Services and Coroner’s Complex at the Province’s Downsview Complex in Toronto houses the Office of the Chief Coroner, the Ontario Forensic Pathology Service and the Centre of Forensic Sciences. The building is LEED® certified, the world's most widely used green building rating system. LEED® buildings focus on healthy indoor environments, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and efficient use of energy, water and other resources.

Currently home to living walls, an aquarium, honeybee hives and so much more, Ontario’s FSCC is not short on giving back to the environment and its building occupants.

The Living Walls

IO and Concert Infrastructure partnered with Dexterra to construct an indoor Living Wall as part of a sustainability initiative. A living wall is a type of garden in where plants are supported to grow along vertical tiered surfaces. The plant pots used are eco-friendly, non-toxic and exceed environmental standards.

The walls add an element of nature to a large indoor setting. They enhance natural textures, shapes and colours while bringing life to the indoor space, especially in the winter. The construction design of the walls includes reused materials, such as pallets, eco-friendly plant holders, reclaimed hard wood flooring and energy efficient L.E.D. harvesting lights which incorporate solar power. The plants on the walls control the humidity in the building and offer CO2 reduction while releasing oxygen.

Located in the lobby at Ontario’s FSCC is a second living wall built with an aquarium. This wall and aquarium serve as a place of tranquility and peace for visitors and staff at the facility. The aquarium and pond were constructed on-site and fish were added to the water, allowing nitrogen-filled discharge water to be applied to the live wall to fertilize the plants. The system includes a waterfall diffuser to provide consistent flow of water.

Flower decoration with Ontario Trillium signs

The first living wall constructed at Ontario’s FSCC, located on the third floor.

Plants decoration on wall

A second living wall with a built-in aquarium located in the lobby of Ontario’s FSCC.

Adopt-A-Hive Program

Ontario’s FSCC adopted six hives and approximately 36,000 honeybees, to provide them with a natural safe habitat. Building occupants take part in an annual honey harvest and the honey is sold throughout the facility. Proceeds from the honey sold are donated to charity.

Honeybee wooden boxes on the grass

Beehives from the Adopt-A-Hive program.

HVAC Condensate Program

The HVAC Condensate program is aimed to reuse the water from the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning – or HVAC – systems. This water is typically removed and disposed of in a sanitary drain. Known as condensate, the water is an inherent by-product of HVAC units which has tremendous potential. Condensate collected from air conditioning units can be used for water sustainability and building energy recovery. At the FSCC, this excess water is collected in a tank and used in the building’s cooling system.

HVAC facility with pipelines

HVAC Condensate Program.

HVAC facility with equipments