Metrolinx announced that major upgrades at Agincourt and Bramalea GO Stations were recently completed, which have transformed the customer experience.

These improvements, as part of GO Expansion (No. 2 on ReNew Canada’s 2024 Top100 Projects report), include everything from track work to enable future two-way, all-day service; better station accessibility; and modern amenities, such as new canopies and snow melt technology along the platforms.    The stations were also designed to be sustainable, and now they have been formally recognized with LEED Gold certification.

LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification by environmental experts at the Canada Green Building Council that a building was designed and built to achieve high performance for the environment and human health.

“Our main goals in seeking LEED certification are to reduce the human contribution to climate change, protect our water resources, promote sustainable material use, enhance biodiversity and improve quality of life,” said Matt Muratore, senior advisor for sustainable design at Metrolinx. 

“LEED looks at the environmental performance of a building, including where it’s located, impacts on ecosystems, how energy and water demand is managed, material selection and indoor air quality.”

Building with LEED principles improves energy performance, reduces water use, and contributes to lower operating costs.

Careful consideration was given in the design of Agincourt GO Station to meet LEED certification. (Metrolinx photo)

Agincourt GO: Reducing the heat island effect

Targeting LEED certification, an important part of Agincourt GO’s design was reducing the heat island effect.

Heat islands are urbanized areas that experience higher temperatures than rural areas. Cities amplify and trap heat more efficiently than outlying areas due to their paved surfaces and closely packed buildings, which can increase air pollution levels.

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To address this, the renovated station has a cool roof designed to absorb less solar energy. This lowers energy costs in summer and helps reduce surface and air temperatures.

People admiring the landscaping around Agincourt GO will find drought-tolerant plants that will help lower the station’s water usage. Protecting birds is also part of the plan. Bird-friendly glass, known as bird-fritting, was used to make sure they see the complete building and fly at a safe distance from it.

“This is all part of a Metrolinx policy to support green operation throughout the life of a facility,” Muratore said.

Bramalea GO: Converting sunlight into electric power

The new and improved Bramalea GO is another example of how we are helping build a greener future.

Upgrades to the station included numerous sustainable design features, such as:

  • A grid-tied array of solar panels covering the parking garage roof that can generate enough energy to run the entire station off solar power.
  • All tunnels, platforms, station areas, and parking lots also feature energy-efficient LED lighting.
  • A parkade which can accommodate electric vehicle charging stations.

Sustainability was also top of mind during construction. The team recycled 97 per cent of construction waste. For example, concrete was salvaged for future usable construction materials, like creating road barriers and blocks.

As a result of this, Bramalea GO has received LEED Gold certification and has been named the 2024 IPMI Award of Excellence winner in the design category for the parking structure building.

Featured image: Upgrades to Bramalea GO Station were completed with sustainability as a priority. (Metrolinx photo)

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