Tag Archives: LEED building in Canada

Minto30Roe is Living Green!

Minto30Roea 34 storey high-rise condominium near Yonge & Eglinton, is a LEED® Canada GOLD candidate, registered with the Canada Green Building Council. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a certifcation program that recognizes innovation in green building strategies and practices. We caught up with Carl Pawlowski, Project Coordinator for Sustainability, who gave us valuable information about Minto’s sustainability initiatives.

TELL US A BIT ABOUT MINTO’S SUSTAINABILITY TEAM.

The Sustainability team is an in-house department that collaborates directly with the other Minto teams early on in each project to develop and implement the Green strategy. This strategy outlines the sustainable initiatives and specifications for the suites and building, and considers the resident’s needs, local environmental requirements, relevant third party building standards and opportunities for innovation. Minto is extremely dedicated to sustainable initiatives that benefit people now and in the future. We are proud to have won many industry awards like the EnerQuality Green Builder of the Year (2011, 2012, 2014), BILD Green Builder of the Year (2013) and ENERGY STAR® for New Homes Builder of  the Year (2014).

30Roe Fall 2015 Newsletter_Green Image

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE SUSTAINABILITY ACHIEVEMENTS AT MINTO30ROE AND WHAT ROLE DO YOU PLAY DURING CONSTRUCTION?

During the strategy and design stage for Minto30Roe, our team included features that were at the forefront of green building in Toronto. For example we were ahead of the curve with our plan to add electric vehicle charging infrastructure at Minto30Roe that allows residents to install EV chargers in their parking space. This is something that many residential builders haven’t yet implemented into their buildings. With construction well underway, we work closely with the Project Manager and Site Coordinators to ensure that environmental procedures are followed and these design features are installed as specified. Once the building is complete, our team will conduct various inspections and testing for factors such as air quality and air tightness. Throughout the entire design and build process, we are collecting and organizing documentation for the third-party programs which Minto30Roe is registered for, such as the Toronto Green Standard and LEED. These documents will be submitted and reviewed by third-party experts, ensuring that our new communities are built to high standards and meeting the targets we strive for.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE GREEN FEATURE AT MINTO30ROE?

I would have to say the Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) is my favourite.  A typical condo without an HRV generally has lower air quality due to less fresh air infiltration and the fact that the air flows through elevator shafts and hallways before entering the suite. At Minto30Roe, the special HRV unit brings fresh air into the suite and transfers energy from outgoing air to pre-heat or pre-cool incoming air depending on desired settings. Combined with a Fan Coil Unit, it distributes the air to each room within the suite. It also includes a particulate filter to remove contaminants in the air, leaving your home with superior indoor air quality and savings in energy costs.grass

Thanks Carl! You can learn more about the incredible green features on www.minto30roe.com under Living Green.

Minto30Roe occupancy is expected to begin in the spring of 2016. There are still 2 bedroom suites available for purchase with a 5% deposit. Contact the Minto Condo Store at 416-915-3800 for complete details.

On building for LEED: part II

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.

A perusal of the list will turn up a really interesting mix of projects, with some in unexpected places. While larger cities will typically have more certified projects, the list also includes projects in many smaller cities around the country spanning the residential, commercial government and educational sectors.

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.

Highrise Residential
5  certifications: Midtown, Radiance, Spring, Skyy, Roehampton
6  certifications pending: minto775, 30Roe, WaterGarden, 88, Southshore, Caledonia Towns

Midrise
Richgrove Townhomes

Offices  (LEED-CS)
180 Kent Street, Ottawa

LEED for Homes Platinum
Inspiration House

LEED for Homes Silver
Stonefield Flats at Chapman Mills

On building for LEED: part I

Minto Place in downtown Ottawa

Being environmentally friendly is a huge deal at Minto. We’ve been officially recognized for our green efforts numerous times over the years and our most recent projects are all LEED certified or striving for certification. Everyone agrees that this is a good thing, but what exactly does LEED certification mean? We contacted the Canada Green Building Council to find out exactly what makes a LEED certified project and why it’s worth investing in.

Initial development 

The original system went into development just after the formation of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in 1993 with the first LEED Pilot Project Program launching  in 1998. Since then rating systems have been developed for specific markets like LEED for New Construction and Major Renovations, LEED for Commercial Interiors and LEED for Neighborhood Development. There are currently over 14,000 LEED certified projects in the United States.

LEED for New Construction and Major Renovations officially came to Canada in 2003 with a full range of LEED rating systems for different markets having been added since. There are currently over 650 LEED Canada certified projects across the country.

The benefits of the system are proven with 1 billion square meters of LEED certified development in 135 countries. The hope is that LEED will continue to accelerate the mainstream adoption of green building standards and help change our built environment into a more sustainable one.

Separating the followers from the LEEDers

Everything is measured against a baseline for energy efficiency and each step above the baseline gets the building a point. But the cost has to be taken into account as well. In most cases, the last few points in a given category will cost the developer the most money and will probably make it necessary to cut costs in other areas. The best strategy both for saving money and for the environment is a balanced approach.

Wells Baker from Minto’s own Green Team says the first thing to look at is the building’s passive performance. Making sure you start with the most efficient building envelope means that every subsequent dollar spent, say on the furnace, will be put to better use. There are also instances where getting one point might make it impossible to get another. All of these factors make the process of determining LEED certification complicated.

Also, there is currently no perfect way of tracking a building’s performance once it’s built and occupied. Research is being done in both in the US and Canada by ENERGY STAR to gather a database and find new opportunities for green development. As tracking systems and technology improve, we’ll get better at determining where money can be best spent on efficiency. Improvements are being made all the time.

New or developing technologies have made certain prerequisites and credits more easily attainable. For example, the latest rating system for new construction requires projects to achieve a minimum reduction of 20 per cent in water use, whereas this was not a prerequisite before.

Since its inception, LEED has evolved over time to make sure that it stays ahead of industry standards while driving them to change at the same time. When everyone is achieving the minimum requirements in a given category, it means a new baseline has been established. When the bar is raised within the industry in a particular area, LEED needs to be one or two steps ahead and raise the requirements for certification.

Technological development has influenced the LEED rating system to become more rigorous but LEED also rewards new or developing technologies. It is this close relationship that pushes the industry to find new and more sustainable ways to build and maintain our built environment.