Halsall Associates’ part in the Evergreen Brick Works

Halsall Associates was part of the Evergreen Brick Works design team honoured with a 2013 Congress for New Urbanism (CNU) Charter Award. Announced on May 29 at CNU21 in Salt Lake City, the CNU Charter Awards are regarded as the urban design industry’s preeminent global awards for excellence.

As part of a multi-disciplinary team, Halsall provided structural engineering and sustainability consulting services on the project, which involved transforming an abandoned industrial site in Toronto’s Don Valley into an environmentally themed community landmark that bridges the gap between nature and urban life.

The other team members included Evergreen, a not-for-profit seeking to bring cities and nature together; DTAH; Diamond Schmitt Architects Inc.; Claude Cormier + Associés; E.R.A. Architects; Stantec Consulting; AECOM; HFM; Turner & Townsend; Leber Rubes; Ferrucio Sardella; Trow; BA Consulting Group Ltd.; and Eastern Construction.

“Evergreen Brick Works is one of those amazing projects that inspires the team to collaborate to create something very special,” says Doug Webber, Halsall Associates’ National Green Building Practice Leader. “It’s a great honour to be a part of the design team recognized with this award.”

Evergreen restored 14 of the historic factory buildings — a collection of early 1900s brick structures and 1950s industrial sheds — focusing on adaptive reuse for year-round activities ranging from demonstration gardens to yoga lessons.

In keeping with the site’s rich industrial heritage, the design approach was to use as many of the existing structural elements as possible. Halsall’s expertise in both historical masonry and steel construction helped drive cost-effective solutions that allowed the original structural elements to be exposed and appreciated by visitors.

As sustainability consultants, Halsall worked with the design team to ensure the development uses energy, water, and waste reduction methods to reduce negative environmental impacts and contribute positively to the ecosystem. Implemented measures include: a super-efficient building envelope; solar thermal water heating; solar photovoltaic electricity generation; and energy harvesting of waste heat. Collectively, these reduce fossil fuel energy use by about 65 per cent compared to conventional methods.

Halsall was also engaged to lead the LEED-NC Platinum certification of the Centre for Green Cities (CGC), the site’s lone new building. For this building, Halsall’s structural engineers were part of an integrated approach that resulted in floors being used to distribute air and underground crawl spaces being incorporated into the storm water management system. With its impressive performance and eye-catching design, the CGC is a showpiece that links sustainability, culture and community. Evergreen Brick Works was one of only nine international projects given a 2013 Charter Award. Winning projects are recognized for their excellence in fulfilling and advancing the principles of the Charter of the New Urbanism, which defines the essential qualities of walkable, sustainable places from the regional scale down to the block and building.


Halsall Associates – Engineering Better Buildings Halsall Associates (halsall.com) is a national consulting engineering company with a passion for sustainability. The company has over 50 years’ experience in structural design, green building consulting, building evaluation and building renewal. Halsall is the building engineering division of Parsons Brinckerhoff’s (pbworld.com) Canadian operating company.