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Environmental Sciences and Chemistry Building, University of Toronto Scarborough

Diamond Schmitt Architects


1065 Military Trail

M1C 1A4


University of Toronto


  • Donald Schmitt
  • John Featherstone
  • Nigel Tai
  • Tyson Milani
  • Andreea Scarlat
  • Maya Orzechowska
  • Jeff Mitchell


  • Construction Manager: EllisDon
  • Civil Engineer: MMM Group
  • Electrical Engineer: Smith + Andersen

Project Status


Year Completed



110,000 sq. feet

Construction Cost


Certifications and Designations



View all (7) images

Project Description

The project is a showpiece for integrating the requirements of a modern post-secondary academic campus plan and meets institutional objectives for stringent sustainable design targets. The facility also features collaborative learning opportunities while providing flexible lab space that ensures adaptability for the ever-changing nature of research and teaching methods.

At its core, the five-storey building connects laboratories and academic offices around a skylit forum and crossroads designed to encourage collaboration and exchange. Thematically, the Environmental Science and Chemistry Building is inspired by nature to reflect not only the academic pursuits of these disciplines but also its setting on the edge of a wooded ravine. This connection extends to a host of sustainable design features that put the facility on track for LEED Gold certification. These include a rare feature – an earth tube system that draws fresh air through six large tubes where it is pretreated in the earth’s embrace to heat or cool, depending on the season, before entering the mechanical system.
An array of vertical sunshades of varying depths spans the south and west facades to mitigate the intensity and glare of the sun on the interior. These undulating forms enliven the façade creating an effect as sun and shadow move across the building that can be likened to the impression of a wind pattern on sand or water.
Please see this short video for more on the building's design:
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