Unitarian Congregation of Mississauga
Congregation Greens Facilities with New Church Hall and Landscaping
The original Unitarian Church was constructed by the congregation in 1954 on a former farm near the intersection of Hurontario and the QEW. Over the years, the congregation had looked at several different concepts for developing their site.
This project began with a Feasibility Study consisting of field trips to environmental centres, gardens, churches and reception halls. With the study a set of precedents were established and consensus was built within the congregation.
The design was shaped by the seven Unitarian Principles which includes respect for the interdependent web of all life. This was accomplished by designing with green building guidelines.
Environmental aspects of the design include passive solar heat gain from large south-facing windows, natural ventilation, nergy efficient systems and durable building materials.
The building was analyzed to be 36% more efficient than the Model National Energy Code for Buildings (MNECB) and received federal funding from the Commercial Buildings Incentive Program (CBIP).
The building is located to form an exterior courtyard that is extensively planted. The trees shade the building in the summer and form a wind break in the winter.
Rainwater Flows to Bio-Retention Swale Filled with Native Plants
The bioretention swale in the UCM parking lot provides native grasses, shrubs, trees and a filter bed to treat the rainwater runoff from the parking lot.
The Credit Valley Conservation Authority (CVC) adopted the UCM site as part of their Corporate Greening Program, and provided technical expertise in the design of the soil mixture in the swale, which helps to break down the parking lot pollutants. The CVC chose planting that was suitable for the frequent wet conditions of the swale.
The swale retains water by having a flow restrictor on the connection to the city's storm line and by raising the catch basin above the ground level. The water is then allowed time to filter down into the ground water and reduce the load on the city's storm water system.
UCM has been greening it’s site for the past 10 years and wildlife is coming back, including monarchs on the asters and rabbits visiting the serviceberry bushes.