The Barrett Centre for Technology Innovation's sustainability and design features are in the spotlight once again. 

Sustainable Architecture & Building named the Barrett CTI as the winner of its 2021 Institutional (Large) Award at the 2021 Canadian Green Building Awards

Humber College hired architecture firm Perkins & Will and Bird Construction for the project, which took three years from inception to completion. 

The net-zero building is rated LEED Platinum, which requires structures to include features like efficient lighting and HVAC systems and water conservation and reduced-use mechanisms, and to use of sustainable materials during construction. 

The Green Building Awards jury wrote that many LEED-Platinum and net-zero projects can result in an uninspiring box-like form. They credited Humber for taking a creative, innovative approach with the Barrett CTI. Equipped with cutting-edge technology and supported by the best in advanced manufacturing, the building and its spaces continue to evolve, fostering that spirit of innovation in its users. 

"We wanted people to arrive at campus thinking, 'What is that building, and what's going on inside?' I think we achieved that. It does elicit that kind of wonder," said Scott Valens, director of capital development for Humber. 

Students sit on the giant yellow staircase in the atrium of the Barrett CTI, distanced by at least 2 metres and wearing masks

A few of the Barrett CTI's sustainability features include a passive cooling system, green roof, hydronic in-floor heating and the use of a unique solar panel installation that helps power the building. 

During the Barrett CTI's construction, Humber was building a parking structure nearby. Humber added over 1,832 400W solar panels to the parkade's roof, which now provides sufficient energy to power the Barrett CTI building. 

"The college is not using any more energy now than before both buildings were built," said Valens. 

The building’s design and construction were supported by funding from The Barrett Family Foundation, the federal and provincial governments and Humber College. The 93,000 square foot building officially opened in the spring of 2019. 

The Barrett CTI, one of Humber's Centres of Innovation, continues to be a shining example of how community and industry partners can collaborate with post-secondary institutions on a wide range of innovative projects and initiatives.  

"It's groundbreaking in terms of its approach to student education. It doesn't have standard classrooms. The entire building is about a new way of thinking of education, where it's more of a discovery than a chalk-and-talk," said Valens. 

Students benefit from the unique, collaborative spaces but also from the Barrett CTI's sustainable processes and systems, which serve as teaching tools. 

Humber has been named one of Canada’s Greenest Employers for the past six years. For more information about Sustainability at Humber, please visit