Introducing the King Suite – a limited time new release at Minto Westside! This spectacular suite layout offers two bedrooms and two bathrooms in a smart and functional 632 sq. ft. suite. The modern L-shaped kitchen with optional island has plenty of storage space, even a pantry. The spacious, bright living room has a walkout to the balcony that overlooks the stunning W Courtyard. Other features include a master walk-in closet and spa inspired ensuite. The second bathroom boasts a large soaker tub with optional entry from the 2nd bedroom.
People have already begun to move into minto775 (as mentioned in our post from a few weeks ago) but the building is not yet in its final condition. We’ve been addressing concerns about the delays at minto775 as they come up, but we wanted to share all the information we have with you in a blog post so you’re in the loop and know what’s happening.
We all know that there are two seasons in Canada: winter and construction. There is also more construction happening in Toronto than ever before and the trades are feeling the strain. This is making everything happen more slowly but we are working to get minto775 finished as soon as possible. We’re spending a premium on hiring our own contractors to finish the shelving, mirror and glass installation that had fallen behind.
Furthermore, on April 30th, the three-year construction contracts ended. Subsequently, the elevator unions and the drywall unions went on strike. This was an industry-wide earthquake that affected all builders. Now the drywall unions are back to work but the tile union is on strike.
Like you, we want everything to keep moving. We’re doing everything in our power to get the building finished quickly, like using our own trade workers where possible. We’ll keep you posted on the progress.
We can answer any of your questions or concerns here in the comments section or on Twitter. Don’t hesitate to get it touch.
In part I we looked at how LEED evolved from a pilot project to a green building standard recognized around the world. What’s great about LEED is that it encourages development in methods and technology that improve a building’s sustainability. When a benchmark is met by nearly everyone, the bar gets raised and developers continue to strive for this certification.
In the second part, we’ll take a look at cities around the world who are excelling in their adaption to the LEED standard.
Cities setting examples
LEED has become a huge consideration for both developers and buyers. The industry is shifting to support LEED standards by looking at design and functionality to see how a building can perform optimally for the people using it and the city it’s in.
Vancouver has green building policies for rezoning, new homes and renovations that are some of the most progressive in North America. The city currently has 46 certified projects. A good example is Southeast False Creek, which achieved Platinum for LEED for Neighbourhood Development. The development contains one of the largest collections of LEED buildings in one contiguous area in the world.
Montreal has over 55 LEED projects up for certification with more to come; all new City of Montreal buildings must be LEED Gold certified and all major renovations must target LEED Silver. Notable examples include the LEED Gold PERFORM Centre at Concordia University and, of course, the City of Montreal city hall.
Toronto has always been a strong supporter of the LEED rating system and even has its own Toronto Green Standard (TGS), a two-tier set of performance measures with supporting guidelines related to sustainable site and building design for new private and public development. Achieving the TGS contributes towards LEED certification. One initiative in particular LEED significance is the transformation of Toronto’s waterfront area, which participated in both the LEED-ND pilot and the Clinton Climate Initiative’s Climate Positive Development program.
Interestingly, Calgary, Edmonton, Mississauga, Ottawa and Winnipeg (in no particular order) have the largest number of registered and certified LEED projects in Canada. You can download a full list of every LEED certified project in the country here.
Across the pond, BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) is the equivalent evaluation system in Britain. BREEAM has certified projects all over Europe. The first BREEAM Communities project outside the UK is in the works in Malmö, Sweden. Masthusen is a mixed use development that incorporates residential units, offices, shops and services, much like Southeast False Creek in BC.
The BREEAM website houses some interesting case studies that illustrate the huge range of opportunities that exist for making a city greener. There are some great examples of schools, research facilities, shopping malls and even prisons all over Europe that are innovating from the ground up.
What stands out in many of the examples of certified green buildings around the world is not only their approach to design and construction, but the holistic approach to how people will interact with the building and how, in turn, the project will interact with the city around it. It’s not just about about constructing buildings; it’s about building cities.
For us, creating an energy efficient building is just the start. we work really hard to choose smart locations near transit and amenities that will compound the benefits of LEED construction by allowing residents to live sustainably and enjoy a better quality of life.
LEED & Minto
As early adopters of sustainable practices, we’ve seen the difference it makes over the life of a building. Here is a look at some of our own LEED projects. Note that a project cannot be certified until it’s complete, hence the pending certifications.
5 certifications: Midtown, Radiance, Spring, Skyy, Roehampton
6 certifications pending: minto775, 30Roe, WaterGarden, 88, Southshore, Caledonia Towns
180 Kent Street, Ottawa
LEED for Homes Platinum
LEED for Homes Silver
Stonefield Flats at Chapman Mills
When we posted our last update from Minto WaterGarden in Thornhill, the cranes had just gone up. Now we’re rapidly progressing towards ground level.
The P2 perimeter walls of the parking garage are almost complete (more on that later) and the formwork trade has begun decking the P1 slab and building column forms to the ground floor. With the columns & perimeter walls complete, our site services trade is busy installing the perimeter and under-slab drainage system which collects water & channels it to the building sump system. Once it’s installed we are able to pour the slab-on-grade, which is the bottom level of the parking garage.
The mechanical & electrical trades are also on site to sleeve for their pipes and lay conduit before the concrete is cast.
This week, we began removing the ramp located at the north end of the site, which has allowed concrete and steel trucks to drive right into site. We’ll begin using the area behind the temporary hoarding on Yonge Street to stage the trucks for deliveries using one or both of the cranes. Removing the ramp means the parking garage is completely open to allow the waterproofers and formworkers to complete the small area of the P2 perimeter that remains behind the ramp. Next, site services will complete their connections and we can pour the last piece of slab-on-grade and close in that area with P1 decking and columns.
The parking garage is taking shape at the P1 level and it won’t be long before we reach the ground floor.
On September 24th, Minto Communities Ontario was awarded the prestigious Ontario Home Builder of the Year Award at the Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA) Annual Awards of Distinction dinner in Collingwood. Minto was a finalist for several other awards which is an honour on its own. Attending the awards and celebrating the best of the industry alongside our peers was fantastic, but being named Ontario Home Builder of the Year takes the cake.
This award means more than being an amazing builder. The Home Builder of the Year Award is presented to the home builder who best “demonstrates outstanding professionalism and integrity within their business, industry and community.” Decided by a panel of industry professionals, nominees were judged on their excellence in sales and marketing, innovative product, community service and strong support of the industry.
In addition, the Bamboo suite at Yonge and Sheppard’s 88 was named Most Outstanding High or Mid-Rise Condo Suite in the up to 800 square feet category. A huge thank you goes out to everyone who helped make this possible. We could not have done it without everyone’s efforts at Minto.
Possibly even more gratifying than winning the awards are all the congratulatory message we’ve been getting on Facebook and Twitter. Here is just some of the Twitter love that came our way this week.
— UrbanToronto (@Urban_Toronto) September 25, 2012
— Carlo Di Leo (@Carlo_DiLeo) September 25, 2012
@mintocondos mazel tov !
— Benjamin Bach (@benjaminbach) September 25, 2012
— BuzzBuzzHome (@BuzzBuzzHome) September 25, 2012
— Scott Rodmore (@RodmoreRealty) September 25, 2012
— Dionne Fraser (@msdfraser) September 25, 2012
Minto recently partnered with George Brown College offering a construction management student an internship at our minto775 site on King West. The construction management program, unique to George Brown, is still very new with only four graduating classes under its belt. Their program advisory committee is made up of industry professionals who review the program every semester to make sure students are offered the best, most up-to-date case studies for learning industry best practices.
Faculty members are practicing professionals themselves so students know that what works in the classroom will work on the construction site. The students’ supervisors at field placements also end up shaping the program curriculum through their insights into the students’ skills on the work site.
Alexis Trejgo runs the co-op program at the George Brown Centre for Construction and Engineering Technologies. “The nature of construction and building technology is changing in Ontario and across North America,” she told us. “Broad societal trends are impacting the nature of our industry in areas like heritage preservation and building restoration, environmental design and energy conservation. In this rapidly changing industry, more and more highly trained construction managers are needed.”
George Brown provides students with the skills to organize, lead and manage construction projects from start to finish. They learn about design, regulations, contracts, specifications, budgets and schedules. They also leave the program with an understanding of environmental construction techniques and how they apply to residential, ICI ( industrial, commercial, institutional), infrastructure and urban planning. They can go on to have successful careers as estimators, project managers, field engineers, site supervisors and more. The program also provides students with 30 credits towards the Gold Seal.
Luis Diego was our 2012 summer intern at minto775 working with Daniela Fiore as his supervisor. He’s currently studying at George Brown College in Toronto and is on his way to earning a Bachelor of Applied Technology with a Construction Science and Management focus. It is currently the only program of its kind in Ontario. Luis received hands-on training at the minto775 site and we got a great addition to the team. In fact, Luis will continue working with us part-time while he finishes school.
Internship programs like the one Alexis runs at George Brown are essential if the next generation of construction managers are to succeed in today’s complex landscape. Luis is the first of their students to have been placed with Minto, and Alexis was really impressed with the experience he received.
“It speaks volumes about the partnership we are building with Minto,” she said. “Minto775 was a great match for the program. George Brown is an urban school and the students arrive with an interest in urban issues.” It all comes together in the King West area making minto775 a great example of the type of projects these students might end up managing after they graduate.
Join us for a barbecue this Saturday, August 25 at noon at the Minto88 sales centre. For this one day we’ll be offering $8,800 off the purchase price of any suite*.
Call 416-915-3805 for more information or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to register and we look forward to seeing you on Saturday!
*Limited time bonus offer off the purchase price. Specifications subject to change without notice. Please see a sales representative for full details.