artscape wychwood barns

Artscape Wychwood Barns enhances the traditional concept of a park as “pleasure ground” by combining heritage preservation with current best practices in green technologies and environmental management. The Artscape Wychwood Barns project embraces environmentally sustainable design by responding imaginatively to the issues of brownfield redevelopment, water and energy conservation, and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. It is also the first designated heritage site in Canada to seek Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design’s Canada certification.

Through the use of green energy and energy efficient resources, Artscape Wychwood Barns is an environmental quality improvement project that provides significant and positive contributions toward improving the environment in the community, helping to improve air quality, and championing clean water initiatives. Not-for-profit environmental organizations with new homes in the Artscape Wychwood Barns will provide thousands of schoolchildren, adults and area residents with environmental programming, such as naturalization and monitoring projects.

Artscape Wychwood Barns Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design’s Features

Stormwater harvesting:

Underneath the floor in Barn 2 is a 90 cubic metre cistern. This cistern collects rainwater which is captured from the building roof. The water collected is used for flushing the site’s 40 water closets and for park irrigation.

By reusing stored rainwater in combination with low flow fixtures and waterless urinais, the site will reduce the consumption of municipal potable water compared to a typical building of the same size by 67 %. It is estimated that the building will save a total of 7,745.90 litres per day or a yearly volume of 2.8 millions litres.

Potable water use reduction:

By implementing ultra low-flush water closets that work at three litres per flush instead of the conventional six litres per flush, and by using waterless urinais in place of urinais that typically use 3.8 litres per flush, the Artscape Wychwood Barns will substantially reduce the site’s overall water consumption.


The siding panels that run along Benson avenue are made of 100% recycled plastic. This polyboard is waterproof, Ultraviolet resistant and contains no asbestos, fibreglass or toxic resins. The 93 sheets used on the Artscape Wychwood Barns diverted 8,556 Ibs of plastic from landfill.

White roof:

The Artscape Wychwood Barns roof system is a single ply, highly reflective, white polyvinyl chloride membrane covering approximately 28,000 square feets. This roofing system helps reduce the heat island effect and the cooling load of the site during the summer months. It is estimated that the white roof system installed on the Artscape Wychwood Barns should reduce the indoor temperature during the summer months by up to three degrees celcius.

Indoor air quality:

Volatile organic compounds can have an adverse effect on the health of the building occupants. The products and installation methods used on the Artscape Wychwood Barns all meet the low-volatile organic compounds levels specified by the Canadian Green Building Council.

Ground source heating and cooling:

The geothermal energy system is located under the park land on the west side of the site. It consists of 48 bore holes that are 120 meters (400 feet) deep, each one containg a water circulating loop of tubing that is in contact with the ground. This system accounts for a substantial reduction in the amount of energy that would have been consumed if the site had used conventional heating and cooling methods.

The system works by utilizing the ground as both a source and sink for energy. During cooling seasons, the heat pump’s compressors work like a fridge to create cooling for the occupants, while dumping heat into the bore holes. In the heating season, the pumps work in reverse and some of this heat is recovered.

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