Presentation and Tour of Bill Fisch Forest Stewardship & Education Centre

Friday, April 8th, 2016 - 1:30pm


Location: Bill Fisch Forest Stewardship & Education Centre, 16389 Highway 48, Whitchurch-Stouffville, Ontario

Fee: $15/pp includes light refreshments


The Bill Fisch Forest Stewardship & Education Centre is The Regional Municipality of York’s most sustainable building to date. It represents York Region’s first attempt to achieve Living Building Challenge (LBC) Certification, LEED® Platinum Certification and net-zero energy.

To achieve net-zero energy, the building employs careful consideration and application of passive solar heating opportunities, an enhanced building envelope and efficient mechanical/electrical systems. Expected to consume approximately 32,000 kWh of electricity per year, the building includes a 44kW rooftop solar photovoltaic system that is expected to generate approximately 38,000 kWh per year, making it a net-positive building. An energy metering system provides real-time monitoring of energy use to track progress towards the net-positive energy target. The building employs other innovative technologies, including rainwater harvesting and on-site biological wastewater treatment (without the use of chemicals).

Extensive use of wood, a renewable construction material, sequesters carbon within the building structure. Exposed and visible to visitors, the cross-laminated timber roof and wall structures as well as the glued-laminated wood beams and columns allowed the use of smaller wood members, rather than requiring older and larger trees for the construction.

The Living Building Challenge required avoidance of 14 chemicals (with a few exceptions due to lack of availability of alternatives) considered harmful to human health that are prevalent in construction materials, including poly vinyl chloride (PVC), added formaldeyde, neoprene, mercury and lead, with solutions having to be developed for many materials and assemblies.


Ian Buchanan has more than 30 years of natural resource management experience. His current position is Manager of Natural Heritage and Forestry with The Regional Municipality of York. Since 2002, Ian’s responsibilities have included management of the York Regional Forest, invasive species management, and the Urban Forestry program. Ian is also a Director on the Boards of both the Invasive Species Centre and Forests Ontario, and has been an Associate of the Faculty of Forestry, University of Toronto since 2004.

Denis Poncelet , P.Eng., LEED AP BD+C, CEM, CMVP is a Sustainable Building Engineer with Corporate Energy Services, in the Commissioner's Office of the Environmental Services department at The Regional Municipality of York. Denis has more than 15 years of experience in building systems and sustainable building design and construction. Since joining York Region in 2009, Denis has led energy audits, energy retrofits and energy/water sub metering projects, and has assisted project managers in delivering high performance green buildings. Denis has been advising on technical aspects of the Bill Fisch Forest Stewardship & Education Centre project since the project’s inception.

It is open to friends and family members over 8 years of age.

Rick Vender, P.Eng.
Program Director – PEO York Chapter
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