Evergreen Brick Works
Parsons Brinckerhoff Role: Structural Engineering and Sustainability Consulting
Evergreen Brick Works, opened in September 2010 on the site of the abandoned century-old Don Valley Brick Works, is now a model of preserved heritage and urban sustainability.
Evergreen, a nonprofit organization that seeks to bring cities and nature together, was authorized by the City of Toronto in 2004 to redevelop the brickyard. Under a $55 million initiative, Evergreen revitalized the 12-acre (5-hectare) site into a showcase that engages the community in experiences connected to nature and inspires them to become participants in shaping a sustainable future. Evergreen restored 14 of the historic factory buildings—a collection of early 1900s brick structures and 1950s industrial sheds—focusing on adaptive reuse for year-round activities ranging from demonstration gardens to yoga lessons. Guided tours of the historic kilns and drying tunnels allow visitors to explore the village’s rich industrial heritage. Evergreen Brick Works was named by National Geographic as one of the world’s top geotourism destinations for bridging the gap between nature and urban life.
Halsall (the Canadian operating company of Parsons Brinckerhoff), provided structural engineering services and green building consulting, and managed certification of a building in the complex that is targeting LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Evergreen Brick Works uses energy, water, and waste reduction methods to reduce negative environmental impact and, where possible, contribute positively to the ecosystem. Implemented measures include solar thermal hot water heating, solar photovoltaic electricity generation, and energy harvesting of waste heat—these reduce fossil-fuel energy use by about 65 percent compared to conventional methods.
Water conservation goals include collecting rain water for irrigation and installing low-flow water fixtures.