Project Profile

Green Grind

Renovation to existing 1000 square foot retail space in downtown Toronto’s “Little Italy” community to create a sustainable coffee shop.

The Green Grind Sustainable Coffee and Tea.

Green Reason’s Role
Green Reason was hired by HOK, a global architectural firm, to manage the project including the LEED design and certification process.

What Was Done
The Green Grind is a community coffee shop with a customer promise to deliver coffee “without destruction to the environment”. Their shop needed to convey the client’s green ideals and provide guests with an unforgettable experience. The challenge was a tight budget for making LEED work and a project that needed to be carefully managed.

The first step was to find a lease space suitable for achieving LEED certification. As project manager, Green Reason reviewed each potential space and the implications of all design and construction decisions so that the project was kept within scope and still achieved its sustainable goals.

Other accomplishments include:

  • Demolition and construction waste was reduced by keeping over 75% of existing interior elements.
  • Construction waste was sent to recycling facilities with almost 80% diverted from landfill. As an ongoing practice, Green Grind provides bins for recyclables and organics to divert as much waste as possible.
  • Most construction materials and furniture were purchase from reuse stores. The community table, for example, is made from lumber reclaimed from the demolition of an industrial building a few blocks away.
  • New construction materials such as drywall and insulation have high recycled content; counter and cabinets contain a high percentage of recycled material as well as bamboo, a rapidly renewable resource.
  • The installation of low-flush toilets and low-flow aerator lavatory faucets reduced water use by over 35%.
  • The lighting system reduced power consumption 40% below the standard benchmark. Daylight sensors turn off the main lights when there is sufficient daylight, large windows bring in natural light, light coloured walls and ceiling provide bright, reflective surfaces.
  • Over 65% of the furniture in the shop is reused/refurbished vintage pieces.
  • For maximum indoor air quality, Green Grind chose products including paints and adhesives with zero or minimal VOC content, that is, products containing chemicals that can cause negative health effects by off-gassing into the indoor air. The Green Grind also chose only products and materials that did not contain added urea formaldehyde.

Results Speak for Themselves
The Green Grind is a City of Toronto 2010 Green Toronto Award of Excellence Winner for Building Design, winner of ARIDO 2010 Awards of Merit for Restaurant and Sustainable Design and recently earned a LEED® Canada-CI Gold Certification from the Canada Green Building Council.