Exemplifying sustainable design and leadership, the York Region Municipality’s new Administrative Centre Annex (ACA) at 17150 Yonge Street in Newmarket, Ontario, recently earned LEED® Gold certification by the Canada Green Building Council. The eight-story, 422,000-square-foot government facility accommodates 1,500 workers and centralizes numerous public services including eight new courtrooms.

WZMH Architects, working with Figure3 on the interior, designed the ACA as part of a new 15-acre civic campus with a focus on environmental stewardship, occupant comfort and well-being, and an optimal user experience. To improve indoor air quality (IAQ), the design team reviewed and selected interior products and materials with low emissions, compatible aesthetics and durability. In addition to IAQ, LEED recognizes a comfortable acoustic experience contributes to a quality, healthy indoor environment.

WZMH specified Rockfon acoustic stone wool ceiling systems with exceptional sound absorption throughout the ACA. High acoustic performance contributes to clear communication, speech privacy and concentration, which are essential to effective public service. In additional to optimized acoustics, Rockfon's stone wool and metal ceiling systems also helped achieve the project’s indoor environmental quality, acoustic performance and biophilic goals.

York Region Administrative Centre Annex (ACA)

Newmarket, Ontario

We wanted the building to look as contemporary as possible to reflect the age in which it is constructed.

WZMH Architects

Approximately 258,000 square feet of Rockfon ceiling products were installed throughout the ACA. In the courtrooms, collaboration and meeting rooms, office areas and corridors, Rockfon Sonar® stone wool panels provide a noise reduction coefficient of up to 0.95 NRC, among the highest available.

The metal baffles were specially engineered and fabricated using Rockfon® Beamgrid® ceiling systems for the ACA, and positioned strategically to reduce noise. Each baffle is perforated and acoustically improved with an insulating backer.

These suspended linear ceiling elements also add visual definition within larger rooms. A white finish was selected for baffles above designated workstation areas to complement the calm, neutral color tones of the office area.

In the ACA’s atrium, staff and visitors are greeted by A Honey Oak finish that was selected for the atrium stairwell’s metal ceilings to create a natural, wood-look appearance with minimal maintenance that complements a six-story living “green” wall in the atrium, bringing the outdoors inside. In the cafeteria, the Honey Oak woodgrain finish enhances a warm, inviting, communal atmosphere, while helping moderate the noise levels.

All of Rockfon’s stone wool products are UL® GREENGUARD Gold®-certified for low-VOC emissions contributing to indoor air quality. These ceiling panels also help extend natural light from the building’s expansive glazing more deeply to the office core. The panels’ lightly textured, white surface reflects up to 85 percent of light helping minimize glare and eye strain to enhance both health and productivity.

More than 20 percent of construction materials on the ACA were manufactured with recycled content, including Rockfon’s ceiling products. After their long lifespan on the building, the metal baffles, perimeter trim and suspension systems also can be locally recycled.

We are so pleased to have a green building that reflects York Region’s commitment to protecting and sustaining the environment, while providing important regional services to our residents.

Dino Basso

commissioner of corporate services for The Regional Municipality of York

York Region Administrative Centre Annex (ACA)

Location:Newmarket, Ontario, Canada
Architect:WZMH Architects; Toronto, Ontario
Contractor: EllisDon Corporation; Toronto, Ontario
Installer:Nelmar Drywall Company Ltd; Concord, Ontario
Photographer:© Tom Arban Photography Inc.
Tiles:Rockfon Sonar®, Rockfon® Beamgrid® Open Plenum Ceiling System, Rockfon® Hygienic Plus™, Rockfon® Infinity™ Standard Perimeter Trim
Grids:Chicago Metallic® 4000 Tempra™ 9/16"