Choice of Ecological Materials

Fly ash, wood, recycled materials and other innovations in design have been chosen for the construction of the Centre, as well as wood dating back to log driving days, taken from the bottom of the Georgian Bay.

Supplemental cementitious materials (SCMs)

The Portland cement used to make the building’s concrete contains 10% to 20% fly ash, a residue recycled from coal-fired power plants. The building also features two experimental concrete slabs (fitted with monitoring equipment) made in part with powdered glass from recycled bottles.


Less energy is used to produce the concrete, reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. 

FSC-certified wood (Forest Stewardship Council)

The Centre for Sustainable Development is aiming for the LEED credit requiring that at least 50% of the new wood used in the building comes from FSC-certified forests.  


Significant reduction of the environmental impact associated with the use of wood.

Materials with recycled content

The Centre for Sustainable Development is aiming for the  two LEED credits requiring that at least 15% of the materials used are made from recycled content. The drywall is made from 99% recycled materials and the fiberglass wool insulation from 70%. The counters of the building’s five kitchenettes are made from 93% recycled glass. 


Uses less natural resources, including energy.

Waste management

At least 90% of the construction waste was diverted from landfills.   


Uses less natural resources, including processing energy.

Wood reclaimed from rivers

Log driving has harmed many of our rivers, littering the bottoms with sunken logs. Some companies now make it their mission to clean rivers by retrieving the logs for resale. The yellow birch used to cover the railings on the staircase in the atrium and on the 2nd floor walkway come from the bottom of the Georgian Bay. 


Because it uses salvaged materials, this practice fulfills the requirements of the MR3 LEED credit.

For more information, check out the interactive exhibit on the building, sign up for a visit with a guide or take a virtual tour of the Centre [French only].