TORONTO, ONTARIO – The new Humber Cultural Hub (HCH) has been officially certified under the Zero Carbon Building – Design Standard v1 by the Canada Green Building Council (CAGBC). Spanning 365,000 square feet, the HCH will provide a new home for Humber’s award-winning music, creative arts and multimedia programs, and the Centre for Creative Business Innovation. The space which will be equipped with the latest creative technology will provide opportunities for the community to engage with high-quality performances outside of the downtown core. The HCH will be the largest zero-carbon design certification development for a university or college institution in Ontario. 

A zero-carbon building is highly energy-efficient and minimizes greenhouse gas emissions from building materials and operations. CAGBC’s Zero Carbon Building (ZCB) Standards™ are a made-in-Canada framework that establishes carbon as the new measure of building innovation. 

“We want to push the boundaries of sustainable architecture and redefine the way we think about educational and cultural spaces,” says Aman Hehar, associate director, Energy & Climate Change. “Receiving Zero Carbon Building – Design Standard certification for the Humber Cultural Hub is a recognition of our commitment to sustainable practices, innovation, and the future well-being of our planet.” 

  • Key design features of the HCH which lead to certification include: 
  • Full Electrification: No natural gas in the building eliminates combustion and the associated on-site carbon emissions. 
  • Ground Source Heat Pumps: Efficiently providing heating and cooling to the building, these heat pumps contribute to minimizing carbon emissions linked to the electrical grid during operations. 
  • Energy Efficiency: Targeting a total annual Energy Use Intensity (EUI) of 75 kWh/m2, the best-in-class energy performance reduces strain on provincial electrical grids as the broader economy transitions from natural gas to electricity. 
  • Hybrid Mass Timber: Incorporating mass timber as part of the structure reduces the greenhouse gas emissions associated with extracting, producing and transporting building materials, as mass timber has a lower embodied carbon footprint compared to concrete and steel. 
  • Photovoltaic Solar Panels: Strategically installed on the roof, these panels serve as a renewable energy source, reducing carbon emissions associated with the electrical grid during the building's operations. 

"Humber was an early adopter of our Zero Carbon Building Standards, with Building NX, the first ZCB-Design certification in Canada, and now net-zero is built into the college’s Climate Action Plan,” said Mark Hutchinson, vice-president of Green Building Programs and Innovation at CAGBC. “With the Cultural Hub, Humber is embracing zero carbon building by prioritizing efficiency and electrification, as well as low-carbon materials. This project is indicative of the forward-thinking needed to advance zero carbon buildings and we congratulate Humber on their achievement.” 

Understanding Zero-Carbon Building: 

The Zero Carbon Building – Design Standard ™, recognized among the world’s first such standards, emphasizes the significance of building emissions in meeting national climate commitments and serves as a crucial tool supporting the green building sector’s efforts to decarbonize Canada’s buildings. 

While complete elimination of emissions is the ultimate goal, high-quality carbon offsets can be used as a counterbalance until that objective is achieved. For more information on the standard please visit To learn about the HCH, visit

Please refer to the case study on the Humber Cultural Hub on the CAGBC website for additional information. 

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About Humber College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning     
Innovation. Opportunity. Partnership. Support. At Humber College, we bring it all to more than 86,000 learners, in-person and online. As a global leader in polytechnic education, Humber provides in-depth theoretical learning, hands-on, work-integrated experiences and applied research opportunities to students at three main Toronto locations and beyond. Extensive industry connections, experienced faculty and a comprehensive range of credentials, including honours undergraduate degrees, Ontario graduate certificates, diplomas, apprenticeships, and certificates prepare career-ready global citizens for success in the future world of work. Visit  

About the Canada Green Building Council  
The Canada Green Building Council (CAGBC) supports and champions Canada’s green building sector. CAGBC training, services and products such as LEED and the Zero Carbon Building standards help the building sector design, construct and operate buildings that eliminate environmental impacts, increase asset value and improve human health. By working collaboratively with our members, industry, and government stakeholders, we are building our way forward to a sustainable and low-carbon future. Learn more at 

For more information, please contact:     

Sylvie Lendvay 
Media Relations and External Communications  
Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning | 416.729.8940 

Leif Einarson   
Corporate Communications and Marketing   
Canada Green Building Council | 613.729.8074