These days airports are the last place that we think about green things happening, as jet fuel is burned by the ton and square miles of land are flattened for parking lots and access roads. Nobody thought much about airport buildings either, when they showed up for the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction Awards, all expecting that the amazing steel fabrication for the new Royal Ontario Museum would walk off with all the prizes.
Instead, Daniel Libeskind and team could just say huh? and accept an award of merit as Kleinfeldt Mychajlowycz Architects Inc. walked away with the heavy hardware (top prize, the award of excellence, and the Green Building Award) for their Fire and Emergency Services Training Institute at Toronto's Pearson Airport. It makes sense; the ROM is built of steel but it is all covered up in drywall now; the Institute celebrates it and exposes it. It got LEED Silver for using recycled local steel; perforated steel cladding on the south elevation has been designed to form a solar air heating plenum, which can preheat incoming air by up to 17 degrees C above outdoor temperatures. This is reducing the building's energy use, which is more than 30% less than a building built to the Model National Energy Code. For the award of excellence:
Steel was chosen as the dominant architectural element for this project because it was the only material that would give the design a light and articulated counter-point to the exposed, monolithic concrete core slabs and poured concrete elements of the buildings.
The steel was considered integral to the design, not simply exposed - an eloquent expression of the variety of volumes and skins that are possible with a steel structure - prefinished steel panels, precast panels, curtainwall and unit masonry. Interior and exterior finishes, including the Solar Wall, perforated acoustic interior panels, catwalks and railings, illustrate the diversity of the material and how it can be used as effectively for a structural member as it can for a brilliant and refined stainless steel railing. ::Kleinfeldt Mychajlowycz Architects