Gregory Taylor, Dean of Science

There’s any number of sustainability-related aspects of the new Centennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Sciences (CCIS) that Gregory Taylor could point to. Whether it be low-flow fume hoods in the labs or dual-flush toilets used in the washrooms, they are all small but important parts to the Dean of Science.

Taylor, working alongside Facilities and Operations, has been involved in the planning for the building since the beginning. He’s been in the position of Dean since 2002 and had a hand in the design aspects and important decision making when it came to what went into the new building.

“In the end, it just costs you less, if you think of the life cycle of the building,” said Taylor of the decision to use more sustainable practices in the Faculty of Science’s newest home. “The simplest explanation is that we’re citizens of a finite planet.”

There’s a long list of sustainability features in the building, which have been compiled for consideration for LEED® Silver certification. And the list is impressive:

  • High durability wood panelling was installed in high-traffic areas to reduce repainting and replacing of drywall
  • Seventy per cent of the metal recovered from the demolition of V-Wing and Physics buildings was recycled. 
  • In the roof of CCIS (phase two) there are reflective panels which capture solar energy and reduce the need for electric light. At night or when sunlight is insufficient there are spotlights along the sixth floor railing aimed at reflective panels on the roof to maximize the output of electric light maximizing energy efficiency.
  • Both research and teaching laboratories use low-flow fume hoods to reduce air handling equipment and maintenance costs.

Of all of the features, Taylor said his favourite was the new floor. Designed by renowned artist Scott Parsons, it combines recycled glass and gravel refuse from mining projects to paint a story about science. Patterns as diverse as Ursa Minor (the constellation in the northern sky) to a Pleisiosaur (a cretaceous dinosaur) dot the floor.

Taylor said they had seen another piece of work by Parsons in Madison, Wisconsin, and had decided to do a similar project for the new CCIS building. When the project was put out to tender, Parsons happened to be the one chosen by the bid committee.

Beyond the artistic merit, the new floor is designed to last 100 years and should endure until the building is decommissioned. It’s the type of forward-thinking sustainable aspects the new CCIS building has been praised for.

And Taylor was quick to point out that it was a team effort that brought the project together. While he was a champion of the sustainable construction, it was a group effort that brought things together.

For more information on Facilities and Operations’ capital projects, click here