Dancap Announces The Creation of its Next Sustainable Legacy
The new home of Dancap Family Investment Office and the Aubrey & Marla Foundation is located in midtown Toronto at 1067 Yonge St, just north of the Rosedale Subway stop, designed by Dewson Architects https://www.dewson.com/, and built by Vaughan Build Ltd. https://vaughanbuild.ca/. By blending an existing century house with a high-performance, mass timber addition, the new headquarters reinforces its’ commitment to preserving Toronto architectural heritage, while taking the lead in creating sustainable legacies going forward.
Sustainable Design Features
Mass Timber Structural System
The new rear addition is constructed in a mass timber structural system, incorporating cross-laminated timber (CLT) floor and wall panels, and glulam columns. The wood in the mass timber elements came from trees which sequester carbon from the atmosphere. Structural materials like concrete and steel require large amounts of embodied carbon to create them. The carbon footprint of mass timber elements is far lower than that of steel or concrete equivalents.
From its raw extraction to the building erection, the use of each cubic metre of mass timber releases about 85kg CO2 into the atmosphere (not including sequestered carbon by the trees). The average cubic metre of concrete releases about 350 kg CO2, and steel about 900 kg CO2.
Rooftop Solar PV System
The rooftop of the rear addition incorporates a photovoltaic (PV) array, designed to harness solar energy.
The size of the system is 15.8kW and will generate about 19,000 kWh/year.
Low Energy Usage
The building is projected to require approximately 300,000 kWh/year to operate, which translates to 130 kWh
per square metre per year.
This is very close to the Passivehouse standard of 120 kWh/sm/year, which would result in approximately
288,000 kWh/year energy usage.
The addition is designed for flexibility, including the expansion of an additional 4-storeys (8-storeys total).
This future expansion is designed into all structural, civil, mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.
The building enclosure is designed to a very high-performance level.
The wall and roof enclosure are designed with continuous insulation throughout, and structural connections
include thermal breaks, in order to eliminate thermal bridging.
Walls are designed to have an average insulative value of R-44, and roofs an average of R-57.5.
Compared to an average building, the walls and roofs thermally perform 1.5x better.
All door and window openings are designed with thermally broken and insulated systems that will achieve an
average thermal performance of 1.47 W/m2K U-value.
Compared to an average building, the proposed openings thermally perform 1.4x better.
The building enclosure is designed with continuous high-durability air barriers throughout, which minimizes
the amount of air leakage.
The designed target air leakage rate is 1.0 ACH50, which meets the Passivehaus EnerPHit high standard for renovation projects.
The building enclosure is designed with large high-performance window, door, and skylight openings.
As such, natural daylighting is being used to reduce the amount of artificial lighting, which reduces the overall
All plumbing fixtures use low-flow rates to reduce water usage.
When compared to the average building, the proposed will consume 40% less water.
Materials and products were chosen using an environmental analysis selection method, which analyzes their
embodied carbon footprint, durability, installation ease, and maintenance.
The mechanical system is designed to produce a high level of indoor air quality, which includes a UV air
filtration system, an energy recovery ventilator, and an independent parking garage exhaust.
Moreover, all finishes and paints for the interior were selected to have low to no levels of VOC, and the natural
daylight optimization improves environment quality.
The building incorporates an authentic heritage restoration of the historic 1900s original building, carrying it
forward as part of the larger context of the midtown Toronto community.
As it pertains to the overall site, the building makes use of the existing city infrastructure and proximity to
local services such as a variety of shops and restaurants, and mass transit system.
The building includes electric charging stations, bike storage, and permeable pavers to retain water runoff.
The landscape materials were chosen to stress high-albedo surfaces which reflect much of the solar radiation,
assisting in reducing the urban heat island effect.
A Rich History
The existing Georgian Revival house, constructed in 1914 for Jennie Elizabeth Jarvis, widow of Lieutenant-Colonel Salter Mountain Jarvis, serves as the development’s base. City records show that the original house remained in the Jarvis family until 1928, after which it was repurposed into a funeral home from 1935 to 1946. Following WWII, the Goethe Institute acquired the property for its offices, built a three-storey addition to the rear, and converted it to their teaching centre. Subsequent iterations as a commercial office space during the early part of this century culminated in the acquisition by Dancap in December 2018.
The original Georgian Revival house is structurally sound, however the 1950 rear addition is not. Successive decades of haphazard internal renovations, along with poor-quality exterior reparations have left it sorely in need of repair. Dancap has committed to its full restoration. All original architectural elements, including slate roof, eyebrow dormers, muntin windows, historical metal work, interior centre hall plan, and much more will be faithfully restored to their former glory. By integrating current Passive House envelope strategies into the original double-wythe brick walls, foundations, and roof assemblies, the century house will be infused with longevity and energy conservation technologies, sustaining the building far into the future.
As for the new four storey addition, the design drives towards Net Zero Energy consumption. The mass timber structure, with all its embodied energy attributes, is milled and prefabricated locally. This structural skeleton is wrapped in a high-performance envelope employing the three pillars of Passive House design: continuous air barrier, no thermal bridging, and high insulation values. Photovoltaic electrical arrays and triple glazed thermally broken window systems all reinforce the rigor of creating a 21st century building.
The rear addition would include two underground garage levels topped by three floors of office, meeting room, kitchen, and flex space. A fourth floor is planned to include a gym and yoga studio facing east with a clear view of beautiful Rosedale.
The new structure’s north, south, and west elevations are to be clad largely in black metal panels in brick-shaped and diamond patterns. The three rectangular muntin windows on the west side of building above the heritage house ties together the new and the old with a large triangular window, where at night, it will look like a giant spotlight on a theatrical stage. The addition’s east elevation, overlooking an open-cut section of the Yonge subway, will be finished largely in curtainwall glazing along with vertical solar fins, and a frame of the same metal panels proposed on the other three elevations.
By taking the longevity of the existing heritage house and marrying new durable construction materials and technology to it, Dancap is pushing the reborn building forward for generations to come. A building that will hold cultural value for centuries. A truly sustainable legacy.