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Session 1-A

Leveraging a Forward-Thinking Approach to Achieve a Carbon Neutral Advanced Therapy Medicinal Product Facility

Deploying sustainable design strategies is more important than ever, as hundreds of companies commit to 100% renewable energy. In the life sciences industry, these commitments to energy conservation have started a zero carbon revolution. However, understanding the challenges to reaching zero carbon is crucial. To achieve decarbonization, we must implement the most equitable long-term strategies while applying the best design and construction practices.


In this presentation, we will share how, following the energy + sustainability charrette, we created a four-step process to achieve a zero-carbon, zero-water, high-resiliency manufacturing facility for a biotechnology client focused on developing therapies and cures with minimal environmental impact. Additionally, we will discuss cost savings and the advantages of various financing strategies, as well as design innovations that can increase a site's resiliency toward utility price fluctuation.

Session 1-B

Toward the Net-Zero Lab: A Pathway to Carbon Reduction Strategies for Research Facilities

Labs are traditionally carbon-intensive. Addressing total carbon in lab design is becoming increasingly urgent in order to mitigate climate change. This presentation will review the results of a research initiative completed by HOK that addresses the climate impacts of lab design through the lens of operational and embodied carbon. 

Presenters will address the following questions regarding operational carbon:

  • How do you find big reductions in ventilation and air change rates though fume hood and lab planning strategies?

  • How do you balance risk and carbon reduction using air quality sensing technology?

  • How do you implement incremental strategies for further carbon reduction?


Presenter will address the following questions regarding embodied carbon:

  • Which types of structural bays and facade systems have the most impact on carbon reduction?

  • What are the vibration implications of each structural system?

  • Is a hybrid structural system an effective way to balance embodied carbon and vibration?

  • What are the next steps for concurrent evaluation of operational and embodied carbon for zero-carbon lab design?

Target 2030: Establishing Utility Performance Targets for Carbon Reduction at the University of Toronto

The University of Toronto (U of T) is increasing its commitment to reducing its Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. U of T has set a target of being a net-zero GHG institution by 2050. A key element to achieving this goal will be to reduce the carbon footprint of all buildings, both existing and new construction. 

To support this goal, RWDI's services were engaged to develop an updated utility performance standard for all buildings across three U of T campuses in downtown Toronto, Scarborough, and Mississauga, Ontario. After conducting an iterative energy-modelling approach, performance-based metrics for six archetypal buildings were established, including wet and dry laboratories, that represent most of the buildings across the three campuses. Performance targets were developed for new buildings that will balance technology, costs, and current infrastructure. Staging-improved indices, to keep in tune with codes, were also established, as were tiered improvements that can be applied to existing buildings, which represents a large portion of U of T's total emissions. 


This session provides an overview of U of T's overall approach, including details about the key considerations mentioned above. It will also highlight key findings and limitations related to both wet and dry laboratory building types.

Sesson 1-C
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