Building Magazine


Green award for Hamilton research facility

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on the Environment selected their Top Ten Green projects for 2015. Among them – and the only project from Canada – is the Diamond Schmitt Architects-designed CANMET Materials Technology Laboratory (LEED Platinum certified) in Hamilton, Ontario.

The judges said of this project: “We like how the different elevations address the climatic response. It is a thoughtful building, and not the typical sort that attains high performance. The interiors were very carefully resolved, with a clean, elegant, and obviously functional approach. This is probably a very economical building. There was thought put into solar control, the solar thermal space and photo-voltaic systems. The displacement ventilation system in the office and laboratory spaces saves energy and provides comfort.”

Natural Resources Canada relocated its CANMET Materials Technology Laboratory (MTL) from Ottawa to Hamilton to be closer to the steel and manufacturing sectors it serves through metallurgical research and testing. It saw the opportunity to take a giant leap forward and become a showpiece of sustainable design. The facility was certified LEED Platinum in 2013, the third research lab to achieve this rating in Canada and the only one of its type.

This 174,300-sq-ft lab and support office space incorporates a complex industrial program of pilot scale casting, rolling, welding, corrosion, and mechanical testing alongside microstructure evaluations and radiation testing. With over 800 customized pieces of equipment in addition to generic lab equipment; CANMET is a complex and energy use intensive building.

Located at McMaster Innovation Park (MIP), a new 37 acre campus development that hosts a growing government, institutional, and research community, CANMET is the first new building and anchor tenant. The development of the building site leads the way for the emerging campus by setting a framework for transforming the campus from an underutilized brownfield site to new, sustainable, and vital community.

Project Owner: McMaster Innovation Park

Submitting Architect: Diamond Schmitt Architects

Project Completion Date: January, 2011

Project Category: New Construction

Project Site Context/Setting: Urban Brownfield Site

Project Type: Laboratory

Building or Project Gross Floor Area: 177,280 square feet

Total project cost at time of completion, land excluded: $69,000,000.00

All the winners can be seen at

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