Adrian DiCastri, 1952-2008


Photograph of York by Steven Evans

Ten years ago, before LEED even existed in Canada, Adrian DiCastri teamed up with Peter Busby to design the York University Computer Science Building. It has been called the first green building in Ontario, and it demonstrated for the first time that a sustainable approach could succeed in a cold climate.

Every aspect of the building minimized environmental impact: a highly efficient passive ventilation system, organized around ‘thermal chimneys’ and a bamboo-planted atrium; recyclable and low embodied energy materials; sun-shading devices on the south and west façades; and an extensive " planted roof" (the phrase "green roof" was not yet common). It was essentially heated by its computers and the sun, using half the energy of conventionally built equivalents. It was a revolutionary building for this country.

Adrian DiCastri, dead at 55.

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