Toyota Canada Eastern Canada Parts Distribution Centre | Zero Carbon Building – Design certified

Toyota Canada Eastern Canada Parts Distribution Centre

Clarington, Ontario

Project Team

Project Owner: Toyota Canada Inc.
Architect: Global Architect
LEED / Sustainability Consultant: Ecovert
Mechanical Engineer: Brumar Engineering
Electrical Engineer: Lapas Engineering
Structural Engineer: Dorlan Engineering
Landscape Architect: Juan Marten Landscape
Design Builder: Leeswood Construction
Commissioning Authority: Ecovert

CaGBC members involved: Ecovert


Toyota Canada sets its sight on zero

As the first tenant in Clarington Technology Business park, the Toyota Canada Eastern Canada Parts Distribution Centre (ECPDC) has set the bar high for its neighbours.

Located in Clarington, Ontario, the ECPDC facility includes 30,540 m2 of warehouse space for parts storage and an additional 2,065 m2 of office space. Home to approximately 150 employees, the facility recently earned its Zero Carbon Building – Design™ certification and is registered with the certification goal of LEED v4 Gold®.

The new facility was designed and built to meet Toyota’s Environmental Challenge 2050, aiming to go beyond zero environmental impact and achieve a net positive impact on the environment by 2050. The challenge sets a global, company-wide goal to have zero carbon emissions operations by 2050, as well as encouraging vital stewardship initiatives such as water conservation, support for recycling and protecting nature.

Given these ambitious goals, Toyota chose LEED and Zero Carbon Building certifications, two of the most widely accepted and strongest indicators of environmental sustainability in Canada. The ECPDC further stands out by having achieved the Rick Hansen Foundation certification for accessibility at the ‘Gold’ level.


Turning heads

Toyota Canada ECPDC by the numbers:
Energy Use Intensity = 44 kWh/m2/yr (60%+ energy savings)
Thermal Energy Demand Intensity = 24 kWh/m2/yr
Embodied Carbon Intensity = 247 kgCO2e/m2
Water Savings = 234,345 litres/yr (31% savings)

To align with Toyota’s Environmental Challenge 2050, the new ECPDC facility introduced features designed to achieve zero carbon today, setting an example for all new Toyota facilities to come.

Building features such as geothermal heating and cooling, water savings from cistern rainwater collection and drought-resistant plants outdoors demonstrate a commitment to environmental sustainability – but they are also forward looking. Cooling capabilities were included during the design process through a geothermal heat pump system in-lieu of typical gas-fired air heating only units. Vertical and horizontal geothermal heat pump systems provide 93 per cent of the facility’s heating and cooling, reducing the need for natural gas heating. The approach adds resiliency and futureproofs the facility against warming temperatures and heatwaves – a key attraction as the geothermal system could ensure employee comfort and avoid any interruption or operations downtime.

Toyota Canada collaborated with its natural gas provider to optimize the facility design. The resulting targets were provided to the design and construction teams, with regular touch-bases throughout the process to ensure a holistic design that met Toyota Canada’s sustainability targets.

Among the innovative features is a smart, self-tinting electro-chromatic glass for the office area. This product eliminates glare, minimizes heat gain, and maximizes visible light in lieu of traditional glazing combined with interior manual blinds. The product enhances the building’s energy performance as well as employee wellness and experience.

Employees also benefit from a high-efficiency energy recovery ventilation and office-underfloor air system, which provides fresh air to the building and minimizes recirculation of stale air. Employees are also more comfortable thanks to an enhanced building envelope which provides higher insulation values and passive resiliency against extreme weather.

Other features of the design include adding a 965 kW rooftop solar panel array that generates 1153 MWh annually, providing all the carbon offsets needed on-site, and a rainwater cistern that collects rainwater for washroom toilets, lowering water usage dramatically. Also included in the building’s design are landscaping using drought resistant plants, outdoor trails and a robust recycling program – features which ultimately limit the facility’s overall environmental impacts.


Building better pays off

The ECPDC facility’s features demonstrate Toyota’s commitment to investing in carbon reduction and environmentally sound operations, but they also showcase concern for the health and well-being of Toyota Team Members.

The facility design focused on the safety, health and wellness of the employees working in the warehouse and office space. Beyond the better thermal comfort and fresh air and daylight, other decisions were made to enhance workers’ experience and safety. These include separation between equipment and workers, low-shelving for better ergonomics, and wellness-inspired amenities such as a rooftop garden and a park area, a bright and spacious cafeteria and a quiet room for religious prayers or private reflection. By achieving the Rick Hansen Foundations’ accessibility certification, the building is also one of the most physically accessible of its kind in Canada.

Built for the future

Toyota Canada estimates that ECPDC’s zero carbon design saves ~500 tonnes CO2e per year which is equivalent to planting over 8,000 new trees per year for at least 10 years.

The facility was designed to be environmentally sustainable for the long-term, ultimately meeting the criteria for Toyota’s global Environmental Challenge 2050. To reach their goal, Toyota Canada relied on the Zero Carbon Building Standard and LEED rating system to guide and validate their efforts.

Certification through trusted, third-party rating systems provides transparent and tangible proof of Toyota’s commitment to sustainable environmental targets. Achieving Zero Carbon Building – Design certification makes the facility one of the most environmentally sustainable buildings of its kind in Canada and stands as a clear example of how Toyota not only builds environmentally friendly vehicles, but also environmentally friendly buildings.

Toyota Canada has set the standard for future businesses moving into the Clarington Technology Business park, and also for all future Toyota Canada building capital projects. Having achieved an aspect of the company’s global Toyota 2050 Challenge 30 years ahead of plan, they have demonstrated what is possible by prioritizing energy efficiency and a neutral carbon footprint. Toyota Canada’s efforts to design and construct an environmentally sustainable building will have a lasting impact on the company, its employees, and the community of Clarington – and will help Canada to meet its carbon reduction targets in the long term.