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May 23, 2018

Mohawk College helps set new standard for green building innovation with second Zero Carbon Building – Design certification in Canada

May 23, 2018 – Hamilton, ON – Mohawk College has been awarded Zero Carbon Building – Design certification from the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) for the Joyce Centre for Partnership & Innovation. The Joyce Centre is the second building to receive the certification. The first was a multi-tenant office building in Waterloo, Ontario.

In 2017, the Joyce Centre became one of 16 projects from across Canada to be chosen as a pilot project for CaGBC’s new Zero Carbon Building Standard. New construction projects earn Zero Carbon Building – Design certification by modeling a zero carbon balance, highly efficient envelope and ventilation systems to meet a defined threshold for thermal energy demand intensity, and onsite renewable energy systems capable of providing a minimum of five per cent of building energy consumption.

Project teams are required to evaluate energy use holistically, including impacts on peak electricity, and determine the GHG emissions associated with structural and envelope materials. Both new and existing buildings can obtain the standard.



“We’re honoured to receive the Zero Carbon Building – Design certification. The Joyce Centre for Partnership & Innovation will not only be a showcase for green construction but also a living lab that will teach future generations how to build better, more sustainable buildings.”

Mohawk College President, Ron McKerlie


“Congratulations to Mohawk College on earning Canada’s second Zero Carbon Building – Design certification for their impressive Joyce Centre for Partnership and Innovation. With this project, Mohawk has proven that they are on the leading edge of innovation going well beyond the status quo. This project shows that these buildings are technically feasible and financially viable, and sets a strong example for students about the low-carbon economy.”

Thomas Mueller, President and CEO of the Canada Green Building Council.


“Having founded our firm on the principals of sustainable design in Hamilton, we are thrilled that The Joyce Centre for Partnership & Innovation at Mohawk College is awarded the Zero Carbon Building –Design Certification in our city. Achieving this standard has been a huge team effort. In addition to generating all of the building energy needs through renewable solar photovoltaic panels, we worked diligently to enhance sustainable features using natural materials, maximizing natural light and views, applying finishes strategically, integrating water conservation measures and green roofs. We believe this facility will serve as inspiration for what can be achieved through a unified team process to integrate innovative design solutions and proven building system technologies to achieve net zero energy and zero carbon facilities.”

Joanne McCallum, CEO, mcCallumSather


“The Joyce Centre represents a new archetype for learning environments in Canada that recognize and encourage innovation. It’s not just a lab building. In many ways, it’s also a teaching tool for students, training them to deliver a more sustainable future. Its environment explores the symbiotic relationship between all stakeholders and underscores the importance of a cultural shift in how we interact with our built environment—from unrestricted consumption to personal accountability.”

Lisa Bate, Managing Principal, North America, B+H Architects

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Fast Facts


  • The Joyce Centre for Partnership & Innovation will be home to new and existing programs offered through Mohawk’s School of Engineering Technology.
  • The Centre will house high-tech labs and classrooms specializing in fields such as clean and renewable energy, sustainable design, technology automation, cyber security and materials manufacturing among others.
  • Contributing to the zero carbon certification was Mohawk’s curtain wall technology which offers much better insulation value than typical curtain walls.
  • The Centre also uses no natural gas onsite – the all-electric set up allows for the easiest route to low carbon for most buildings.
  • There will be nearly 500 solar panels mounted to canopies on the roof of the Joyce Centre. Campus-wide the college is installing nearly 2,000 solar panels as part of a clean energy retrofit.
  • Mohawk’s solar panel system will produce 550,000 kilowatts of clean energy per year which is enough to power 45 Canadian homes for one year.
  • The Joyce Centre also features 38 geothermal wells that draw energy from more than 600 feet below the building.
  • Mohawk has been named one of Canada’s Greenest Employers for the past five consecutive years in recognition of its leadership in environmental sustainability.


About the Zero Carbon Building Standard

Developed to be broadly applicable, the Standard can be used by new and existing commercial, institutional, and multi-family buildings. The Standard is unique in that it is the first in North America to use carbon instead of energy efficiency to measure a building’s impact. Recognizing the choice of energy sources and the carbon intensity of regional electrical grids is critical to accurately assessing environmental impacts and guiding investments. The Zero Carbon Building program reinforces the importance of energy efficiency while also driving careful choices about the types of energy used and encouraging more renewable energy generation both on the building site and offsite.


About CaGBC

CaGBC is the leading national organization dedicated to advancing green building and sustainable community development practices. As the voice of green building in Canada, we work closely with our national and chapter members in an effort to make every building greener. The CaGBC reduces environmental impacts from the built environment through project certification, advocacy and research. CaGBC established the LEED® green building rating system in Canada and developed the country’s first Zero Carbon Building Standard in May 2017. For more information visit


About Mohawk College

Mohawk College educates and serves more than 31,700 full-time, part-time and apprenticeship students at three campuses in Hamilton, Ontario. Mohawk is among the leading colleges in Canada for applied research and is ranked number one for student and graduate satisfaction among colleges in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.


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