As a leader in sustainability, the Town of Ajax has implemented a number of strategies to help reduce the environmental impact caused by municipal buildings.

Since 2008, the Town mandated a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for new buildings. LEED certification is done through the Canada Green Building Council (CAGBC) and in order to achieve accreditation a building must meet strict environmental criteria in the following categories:

  • Energy and Atmosphere
  • Indoor Environmental Quality
  • Innovation in Design
  • Materials & Resources
  • Regional Priorities
  • Sustainable Sites
  • Water Efficiency

In Ajax the following municipal buildings have been designed to meet the following LEED criteria:

Audley Recreation Centre

ARC Sustainability Features

  • 50% of the outdoor natural areas are restored with native & adaptive plant species.
  • A white roof reflects the sun’s heat and reduces the “heat island effect”.
  • Low wattage and dark sky luminaires are installed to minimize light pollution.
  • Stormwater management systems including infiltration trench, filtration basins, wetponds and constructed wetlands help mimic natural water runoff.
  • ARC uses state-of-the-art heating and cooling equipment to minimize ozone depletion.

Energy Efficiency

Through the use of occupancy and day light sensor, ARC uses 33% less lighting than a standard building of the same size.

An 83m2 solar roof mounted thermal system heats water used within the building. In addition, a 225m south facing solar wall preheats fresh air before it enters the building’s air handling units. Approximately 96,600kWh of solar energy is captured by the solar wall system annually.

Indoor Air Quality

CO2 sensors are installed throughout the building and are connected to a demand-controlled outdoor air delivery system. This system reduces heating and cooling costs during high occupancy times and reduces the potential for negative health impacts.

Materials and products used throughout ARC contain zero or low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) such as Green Label carpet, paint and cleaning supplies.

The Audley Recreation Centre used only wood that does not contain the carcinogenic material urea formaldehyde. 

Sustainable Materials

15% of the building materials used to build ARC is recycled and 20% were sourced locally, this significantly reduces the environmental impact from transportation. All wood products used, are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified. FSC is a certification body that evaluates best forest management practices for legal compliance, sustainability, and conservation efforts.

Non Potable Water Irrigation

For the small amount of irrigation required, the outdoor area uses a drip system, which reduces the amount of water consumed by 30% when compared to regular sprinklers. Non potable water from precipitation, the splash pad, and storm water ponds are captured and stored underground for when irrigation is required.

Many other water saving systems have also been installed within ARC including dual flush toilets and low flow urinals, reducing water consumption by 40%.


Operations Centre

The 55,000-square-foot Operations and Environmental Services Centre, located next to the Fire Station Headquarters at the south-west corner of Salem Road and Rossland Road, has incorporated an environmental first philosophy approach to planning and development.

Through the establishment of these policies, the Town is to achieve a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standard for the new Operations Centre.

'GREEN' initiatives being incorporated into the design of the building:

Green Roof System

  • Improves the energy performance of buildings, reduces storm water run-off, and contributes to a healthier environment.
  • Will help reduce heat island effect, contribute towards the purification of water and air, and reduce energy consumption.

Geothermal Heating

  • Will provide the buildings' primary source of heating and cooling.
  • During winter, the fluid would collect heat from the earth and carry it through the system and into the building. During the summer, the system reverses itself to cool the building by pulling heat from the building - carrying it through the system and placing it in the ground.

Integrated Solar Design

  • Integrated solar design within the proposed building is comprised of two systems:
Solar Thermal System

The Solar Thermal System will collect solar energy through a solar panel system and convert this energy to heat water to provide enough hot water to meet the demands of the typical work day.

Photovoltaic System

The Photovoltaic System features a series of panels, like the solar thermal system, and carries the collected energy to an inverter where it is converted to alternating current as useable electricity and sold to the grid.

  • Building Elevations

  • Salem Road North Elevation

  • Rear Elevation, looking northeast

  • Partial South Elevation, looking southwest

Fire Headquarters

Green Roof

The green roof consists of native and draught resistant plants. This provides increased energy efficiency by reducing the room temperature in the summer. The roof improves noise absorption and extends the lifespan of the roof.

Rainwater Collection

To reduce water consumption, three underground cisterns collect and store 40,000 litres of storm water run-off which is used to irrigate the green roof. This reduces the need to use municipal treated water.

Geothermal Heat Pump

19 ground source heat pumps have been incorporated into the facility to heat and cool the office spaces, dorm rooms, washrooms and lockers areas. This system reduces the need to rely on fossil fuel generated energy for heating and cooling the building. The ground pumps also pre heat hot water used within the building. This system reduces the amount of natural gas required to heat the water.

Energy Efficiency

The facility is 46% more energy efficient than what is required for the National Energy Code of Canada. This energy efficiency is obtained through double glazed argon filled windows, occupancy lighting sensor system, insulation and energy efficient HVAC system.

Carruthers Marsh Pavilion

The building was constructed using materials with high recycled content and products with low Volatile Organic Compounds to eliminate toxins.

Landscaping includes the use of native, drought tolerant and non-invasive species of plants and sod. Meadow features have been re-established in the neighbouring parklands to increase grassland habitat and reduce maintenance.

The parking lot has been designed to drain rainwater and snow into a bioswale.

A bioswale is a stormwater system that allows precipitation to collect and infiltrate

the ground rather than just running through a pipe into the lake. By promoting infiltration the amount of sediment and pollutants entering Lake Ontario will be significantly reduced.

Ample bicycle parking has also been incorporated for cyclists using the Waterfront trail, as well as the facility being fully accessible to public transportation.

Greenwood Discovery Pavilion 

 The pavilion has many “green” features incorporated into the facility to make it healthier for the user, energy efficient and sustainable.

  • Low E, argon filled windows
  • Photovoltaic rooftop solar panels (2kW)
  • Upgraded insulation
  • Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood products
  • Geothermal heating and cooling
  • Occupancy sensors on interior lights
  • Energy efficient interior and exterior lighting
  • Collection of roof water by an above-ground cistern
  • Low flow or waterless water closets/fixtures
  • Use of grey water in toilets
  • Low-VOC or no-VOC paint and finishes
  • Solar thermal heating for hot water