Kalwall Featured: AIA Honors Sustainable Architecture
The natural light that bathes the atrium inside CanmetMATERIALS’ main facility in Hamilton, Ontario is both an impressive visual and a key piece in an environmentally-conscious design that recently drew the praise of the American Institute of Architects.
The AIA’s Committee of the Environment (COTE) named the design by Diamond Schmitt Architects of Toronto as one of its Top Ten examples of Sustainable Architecture and Ecological Designs for 2015.
Kalwall’s translucent panels play a key role in the design. Balanced, diffuse daylight is delivered by the highly insulating, lightweight, structural composite panels manufactured by Kalwall in Manchester, NH. Energy efficient, glare free daylighting is a prominent design feature that led to the CanmetMATERIALS Technology Laboratory being LEED® platinum certified. Kalwall has been incorporated into the designs of almost 1,000 LEED certified projects, as well as being specified in multiple NetZero Energy Buildings and BREEAM® projects.
The Canmet design was also awarded the Canadian Green Building Award by the Canadian Green Building Council and SAB Magazine; the Institutional Building Award by the Ontario Concrete Awards committee; and the Award of Excellence Architecture & Sustainability by the City of Hamilton’s Urban Design and Architecture awards committee.
“(Canmet’s) pursuit of LEED Platinum triggered a comprehensive Integrated Design Process (IDP), which was pivotal to the resulting design,” the AIA wrote in its summary. “A building charter targeted significant energy use reduction to exceed the 2030 Challenge and achieve a 70% energy use reduction, a goal that is particularly challenging for an industrial lab building.”
The design was able to conform to the standards of the 2030 Challenge, an architectural objective to transform the built environment from the major contributor of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to a central part of the solution to the climate and energy crisis. Kalwall is an established part of that solution.