The innovative design of the Edward Drake building was inspired by its location in a maple grove and by the natural elements that surround it. The overall plan of the building was designed to replicate the distinct shape of a maple seed. The building features walls of windows that allow in an abundance of natural light. The reflective roof shields the building from the sun and decreases the heat that penetrates the building, reducing the power required to cool the facility. The slope of the roof permits rainwater reuse. Ponds act as storm water retention ponds, reducing the amount of water being directed into city drains during storms. Some notable green features include:
- Designed and built to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification
- Sustainable design and practices will result in estimated 45% energy cost savings
- Photovoltaic array allows some parts of the facility to run at net-zero energy consumption
- low-flow water fixtures, supplemented by rainwater re-use systems, will reduce the use of potable water by an estimated 40%;
- Reflective roof will reduce ‘heat island’ effect
- Ancient birch logs recovered by a First Nations' company from the bottom of Georgian Bay were used in the construction
- Large quantities of recycled material were used during construction. For instance, when the former Cyrville Road overpass was demolished, the concrete debris was used as landfill in the construction of CSE's new building.