Located in the Eastern Greater Toronto Area (GTA), the Environmental and Related Technologies Hub (EaRTH District) is a collaborative initiative led by Centennial College and the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC). EaRTH District is the catalyst for cross-sector collaboration and is committed to providing sector-focused research and comprehensive education to develop innovative, technology-driven solutions that will fuel sustainable, resilient communities around the world.
EaRTH District is intended to create a collaborative space for a consortium of industry, academic, community and government partners to explore synergies that would strengthen and enhance the Canadian clean technology sectors; increase the amount of quality and collaborative research, improve the relevance of the education and training available and provide increased opportunities for economic development that would foster the creation of highly skilled jobs, and for the transference of knowledge to society.
The general collaborative goals and objectives related to EaRTH District are:
- Support increased dialogue and understanding on concerns related to environment, climate change and achieving low carbon emission targets;
- Support clean technology innovation in the eastern Greater Toronto Area;
- Initiate and support activities that accelerate research, development, demonstration, validation and commercialization of clean technology;
- Foster adoption of clean technology and techniques into various sectors;
- Facilitate collaboration in innovation, education, training, research and development between industry, academia and government;
- Explore new initiatives, projects and concepts.
EaRTH District will consist of multiple education, training, partnering and innovation facilities at UTSC, which are divided into three phases of development.
Phase I, the Environmental Science and Chemistry Building (ESCB), was constructed in 2015. This world-class teaching and research environment houses state-of-the-art research and teaching laboratory facilities, enabling discovery and provide an outstanding platform for the next generation of undergraduate and graduate students. Research and teaching focus on environmental issues such as climate change, groundwater pollution in urban settings, restoration of degraded environmental systems, and rising sea levels.
Phase II, the proposed Vertical Farm Facility, will be a state-of-the-art, net-zero training and research building that will use a multi-disciplinary and cross-sectoral approach to test and verify the latest advances in cleantech, high performance buildings, and sustainable urban agriculture practices such as aquaponics, and vertical farming. This Centennial College campus will be located within UTSC’s EaRTH District.
Phase III, The Advanced Environmental Technologies Building (AETB), will house cutting-edge technology and innovation space to marry industrial technology development, start-up company ideation, and advanced training.
Centered in the Eastern GTA, the EaRTH District initiative will play a key role in stimulating and building on the advanced manufacturing infrastructure already in place in the region. There by creating a unique opportunity to development economic and sustainable benefits for the region, province and beyond.
Scope of Work
Centennial College is seeking a consultant to conduct a requirements assessment to support the development of Phase II of EaRTH District, the proposed vertical farm facility. The facility will be a state-of-the-art, net zero training and research building that will test and verify the latest advances in clean technology, high performance buildings, and urban agricultural. It will lead the way in demonstrating the art, science and practice of incorporating agriculture into the built environment.
The proposed 200,000 square foot facility is to be located on UTSC land, within the EaRTH District development, with space allocated for academic classrooms and labs, an applied research and innovation centre, business incubation, partnership space, and the vertical farm. The following are a summary of the desired deliverables to be achieved from the assessment:
- Recommendations on the space required for the vertical farm portion of the facility, and associated connecting spaces for programming and research;
- Recommendations on how the vertical farm could potentially contribute to the remainder of the facility; to achieve benefits such as net-zero, human health, waste management, etc.;
- Recommendations on particular technologies that would need to be part of the system; and any special considerations that should be known when dealing with these systems;
- Recommendations on how Centennial College and UTSCs current programming and applied research can interact with the vertical farm; and new programming that can be developed from it; and
- Summary of expenditures related to the construction and operation of the systems