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Sustainability : Development News

132 Sustainability Articles | Page: | Show All

$9-million, LEED silver Warden Hilltop Community Centre officially opens in Scarborough

Scarborough has a new community centre.

The Warden Hilltop Community Centre, at 25 Mendelsson St. near Warden and St. Clair, opened last week in a ceremony presided over by the ward’s councillor, Michelle Berardinetti.

Designed by a team led by Paul Cravit in conjunciton with project manager Abdul Kaderali of CS&P Architects and built by Maystar Construction, the centre, which cost about $9 million to build, has a large gymnasium as well as space for a preschool, a dance studio, a weight room and a teaching kitchen.

"We wanted it to be something that had an impact on the community and on the setting," Kaderali says of the one-storey building that began construction at the end of 2009 and was completed in July.

It was also designed to comply with LEED Silver environmental criteria, with several green features, including geothermal heating and a movement sensor-activated system of lights.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Michelle Berardinetti

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Purolator's Etobicoke centre to get rooftop solar panels part of 1.14 megawatt project

A company has leased the rooftops of five Ontario Purolator buildings to set up a solar power-generating business.

"We will own and operate, build and finance these projects, and monitor them over the course of the contract," says Sarah Simmons, government affairs manager for Sun Edison Canada.

Two of the five buildings are in Etobicoke.

According to Simmons, her company is currently working through the regulatory process for the deal, which was signed this month, and she expects work to be completed on the buildings within 12 months.

When all five buildings are up and running, Sun Edison, a division of MEMC Electronic Materials Inc., which manufactures the solar panels in Newmarket, expects to generate 1.14 megwatts of energy.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Sarah Simmons

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$30-million, 1.47-hectare Sherbourne Common opens complete with sculptural water treatment plant

The rest of Sherbourne Common opened this past weekend, including its most distinctive feature, the nation's first water feature that's also a water treatment plant.

The first phase of the new park, Sherbourne Common South, with its waterfront lawn and playground, opened last September. With the addition of the 0.5 hectare northern phase, the park rests on 1.47 hectares and cost a total of $30.6 million.

"It's such an innovative park," says Waterfront Toronto's interim manager of project communications Bruce Sudds. "If you get a chance, it's worth seeing at night."

The walkway over the water channel is equipped with motion sensors which alters the way the water sculpture by Jill Anholt, called Light Showers, is lit.

Ontario's Minister of Research and Innovation, Glen Murray, was at the ceremony.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Bruce Sudds

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Build Toronto crosses hurdle in bid to develop 4050 Yonge St into 367,000sq feet of office space

Build Toronto got its rezoning approval this past week for what it expects will be Ontario's greenest office building.

The approval follows a similar approval from the North York Community Council, and makes the project a fair bet to make it through the rest of its hoops.

Despite its lofty carbon reducing ambitions, it hasn't been an easy road for the city's arm's length development corporation.

"I think there's a good tension between what we and the market view as the requirements, and what the planning people at the city and the residents view as the requirements," says Build Toronto's senior vice president of development, Don Logie.

In addition to altering the passenger pick-up and drop-off area and pushing the entire $150-million building back from the street, Build Toronto, which originally envisioned a 9-storey building, has dropped it to 7-storeys, and the current plan for 367,000 rentable square feet is about 20 per cent less than the original plan called for.

Designed by KPMB with their own Manitoba Hydro building as a model, the building will have in-floor radiant cooling and heating, as well as an eight-storey "solar chimney" that KPMB says will give the building a natural system of ventilation.

Located at the corner of Yonge and York Mills, it will also have direct lobby access to the subway and a direct connection to GO buses.
If everything else goes smoothly, ground will break in 2012, and the building will be completed, according to Logie, by the end of 2014.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Don Logie

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Geothermally powered 16-storey condo breaks ground in Burlington

Ground is officially being broken today, but the drilling has been going on for a couple of weeks already on the GTA's first major geothermally acclimated residential development.

Once finished, Ironstone in Burlington will benefit from 64 holes drilled 500 feet deep where air can be both cooled and heated and re-circulated up through the units.

Graham Chalmers, the vice president of construction at Davies Smith Developments, says he expects the holes, which are the first things being done on the site, will be finished by the end of the month.

"The next thing I do is bring in a shoring company that shores up the walls of the excavation, they used to call them pile drivers," Chalmers says, "and we expect to begin excavating by the 25th of August."

If things go smoothly -- and Chalmers says the drilling has gone better than expected in the relatively easy Burlington bedrock and everything has so far come in on budget -- the 210-unit, 16-storey condo will be ready for its new residents by November of next year.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Graham Chalmers

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Greensaver introduces program to give homeowners free solar panels and $4,000 windfall

Starting now, Toronto homeowners can get free solar panels installed on their roofs and a $4,000 cheque to boot.

Thanks to Greensaver and the Toronto Atmospheric Fund, 60 homeowners who fit the criteria will be able to sign 20-year agreements to hoist the solar photovoltaic panels atop their houses to reduce carbon production by about 1 tonne a year.

Those criteria include having at least 250 square feet of usable space on the roof, a roof that gets enough sun exposure. The roof itself must also be in good condition.

The other thing is the 20-year commitment. Upon signing up, the new eco-warriors will get a cheque for $4,000, which represents future savings and will be the only financial benefit from installing the panels.

"The next homeowner would have to assume the solar panels, so they wouldn't have any financial benefit from it," says Helen Reed, director of corporate communications and marketing for Greensaver, "other than if they were there at the end of the 20 years, when the system would be theirs."

Reed says that the lifespan of the panels is considerably longer than 20 years. As the program gets going, Reed expects it will be expanded beyond the initial 60 installations.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Helen Reed

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Architects Alliance gets Green Toronto nomination for 22-storey, 159-unit Regent Park tower

In the future, let's hope all subsidized housing is as green as the Sackville-Dundas Apartments.

Architects Alliance has been nominated for a Toronto Green Award for their work on this first phase of the Regent Park overhaul.

Owned by the Toronto Community Housing Corporation, the complex was able to use 75% of the materials from the demolition of the public housing disaster whose place it's taking (saving 20% on construction costs). It has green roofs with cisterns to capture storm water that are connected to the irrigation system for the grounds. There's a heat reclamation system hooked up to the two hottest rooms in each apartment, the kitchen ad bathroom, to heat the building's water, there are motion sensors in the stairwells for lighting control and the exterior walls are half masonry, half glazing, to improve their thermal performance. There's also plenty of parking for bikes.

"It's important to have as many ways as possible of letting people know that the city is committed to sustainability," says  Mary K. McIntyre, Architects Alliance's director of business development, talking about the prize, "and it's important to highlight projects that are sustainable. In an ideal world sustainability is not a placard you wear around your neck, it's just the way you build. With a lot of these buildings that win, I think people will say, 'Wow, I didn't know that was a green building.' It's becoming not an exception that adds costs, but just a part of the building code, that's what we're aiming toward."

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Mary McIntyre

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Lakeshore Village BIA planning tiny perfect community square for $35,0000

The Lakeshore Village Business Improvement Area's building a community square.

"It's very small, not like Yonge and Dundas, " says John Scheffer, the west-end BIA's chairman, chuckling, "and we don't have $20 million either."

Far from it. The 5 metre-by-15 metre square at Lake Shore and 5th Avenue is expected to cost, tops, about $40,000.

"We pay half the cost, the city pays the other half," Scheffer says, "once they approve the project."

The application went in late last week, and the plan includes narrowing the road somewhat, and installing solar panels to light a sign as well as a few chess tables. The BIA also hopes to install a small fountain.

Scheffer says they hope to get working on it soon, and possibly complete it by the end of the year.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: John Scheffer

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Heathwood Homes finishes its Green House, complete with $20,000 efficiency monitoring system

A house with the ability to monitor its own efficiency was completed this week, starting its year-long trial to determine the cost benefits of extreme eco-friendliness.

Heathwood Homes has set up a sort of green cage match between its Green House and another house it built to Energy Star standards nearby. Both houses will be monitored, the Green House as a model home and the Energy Star house with a family living in it (the buyers move in this July).

According to Bob Finnigan, Heathwood's chief operating officer, the Green House will use mostly LED lights, a greywater system that recycles shower water to flush the toilets, and something called Laundry Pure, which allows residents to wash clothing using only cold water, and without detergent.

"It uses ultraviolet light," Finnigan says, "and oxygen peroxide and other gases created inside this machine. Activated oxygen, essentially."

The monitoring is being done by Ryerson University, which will report the numbers back to Heathwood so they can calculate exactly how cost efficient energy efficiency on this level is.

The Green House will itself go on the market in late 2012, at which point the buyers will be given the option of keeping some of the more expensive components, like the $4,000 greywater recycling option, and the $20,000 monitoring system.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Bob Finnigan

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Almost 800 windows being replaced in $5-million City Hall project beginning this week

Forty-six years after it was built, Viljo Revell's new city hall is getting some new windows.

Starting this week, all 758 windows in the east tower are being replaced, floor by floor, in a project that's set to cost $5 million and take till November.

"The existing single pane windows will be replaced with tinted, double pane, energy efficient units," says Jim Kamstra, the city's manager of energy and waste management. Due to heritage considerations, there will be little change to the look of the building."

The work, carried out after office hours and on Saturdays, is being handled by general contractor Buttcon Limited, and the window supplier is C3 Polymeric. The contract for the west tower has yet to be tendered.

The funds, from the Strategic Infrastructure Fund, were set aside two years ago.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Jim Kamstra

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Finalists announced for $5,000 Green Toronto Awards

The finalists for the newly expanded Green Toronto Awards have been announced for 2011.

In the Green Design category Architects Alliance (for the Sackville-Dundas Apartments, part of the Regent Park revitalization), the Leon's furniture store at the Roundhouse, and Modrobes are up for the award, which according to the prize committee "rewards leadership in infrastructure, architecture of industrial design which complies with the principles of sustainability."

Finalists for the new Green Home award, which recognizes individual residents who are doing remarkable work on their own homes, are Anthony Ketchum, John Tabone and Lynn Brady.

The prizes will be $5,000 to continue the winners' green efforts, or to donate to whichever environmental charity they like. Winners will be announced at the Green Living Show on April 15.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Valerie Cassells

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East York house, up for new green award, spends $350,000 on enviro reno

For the first time, the Toronto Green Awards are this year recognizing individual homeowners' efforts to reduce their environmental impact.

John Tabone, one of the first finalists, submitted the 800 square foot East York bungalow he tripled in size over the past two years, while incorporating every green measure he could think of, and several he had never heard of.

"The flooring in our house is FSC certified bamboo called plyboo," he says of one of his new discoveries, "sourced from one particular place in China, done a sustainable way." The plyboo is processed without urea-formaldehyde, and is grown and harvested in a panda-friendly fashion, according to Tabone.

The project cost him $350,000, and included digging 180-foot holes in his driveway to facilitate the home's geothermal heating and cooling system.

One of the reasons Tabone is especially proud of the work on his Woodbine Gardens-area home is that he did it on a relatively reasonable budget.

"I see some of the huge eco houses in the more affluent areas, and clearly without a budget you can do more than we did," he says. "We tried to keep it in with a manageable budget."

The winners of this year's award will be announced on April 15.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: John Tabone

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Rex Awards hands out 6 prizes, Corus Quay wins best office development, Aerocentre V green laurels

The 10th annual Rex Awards for real estate excellent were handed out at the beginning of March, with Corus Quay taking the award for office development of the year.

The awards are handed out by NAIOP, an organization of developers, owners and related professionals.

Corus Quay is owned by Build Toronto and the Toronto Port Lands Company, developed by DTZ Barnicke Limited, designed by Diamond and Schmitt (exterior) and Quadrangle (interior), and funded by Morguard Investments Limited.

According to NAIOP, "The awards criteria focus on results (quality and performance), skills (teamwork, collaboration, innovation and creativity) and values (community and environmental awareness)."

Other winners were the TD Centre for office lease of the year, 7381 Bramalea Road for industrial lease of the year, Flynn Canada for industrial development of the year, Adelaide Place for investment deal of the year, and AeroCentre V by Sweeny Sterling Finlayson and Co. Architects for green award of the year.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Nathalie Pastuszac

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Davies Smith to begin geothermal dig for 16-storey, 210-unit condo in Burlington

Digging is about to begin for the geothermal system that will serve a new Burlington condominium.

Named Ironstone, the 16-storey, 210-unit condo is being developed by Davies Smith. The geothermal heating, cooling and ventilation system is expected to reduce energy costs by between 60 and 70 per cent, and eliminate the need for natural gas completely.

According to Riva Finkelstein, who handles public relations for the projects architect, Raw Design, Ironstone "will be one of the first residential condo buildings to use geothermal in country."

Geothermal heating and cooling is based on the fact that the temperature remains fairly constant several metres below the earth's surface, and when water is circulated through specially designed pipes under a building, it can draw heat from the surrounding soil and rock during the winter, and shed heat during the summer. According to Select Energy Solutions, Inc., which is providing environmental consulting services to the development, the temperature 15 metres underground in Southern Ontario remains at a constant temperature of about 11 degrees.
The landscaping is being done by the Seferian Design Group and the interiors have been designed by Fullscale and Partners.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Riva Finkelstein

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One King West launches $2-million renovations this month

In a few days One King West will embark on a $2-million renovation.

The condo hotel at the southwest corner of King and Yonge is upgrading its lobby, venue spaces and its restaurant.

One million dollars has been devoted to making the building more energy efficient, including the switch from steam heating to gas, replacing the windows in the old sections of the building, as well as all the lighting, and installing sliding and revolving doors in the lobby.

The changes include such things as restoring the clock in the Grand Banking Hall, resurfacing the floors and renovating the toilets.

"The aim is to celebrate the history of a space built nearly 100 years ago by tying-in modern finishes and textures with the classic design elements within the hotel," says sales and marketing director Matt Black.

Built on top of an old Toronto Dominion bank, the project was conceived by Harry Stinson and largely funded by David Mirvish, was designed by Stanford Downey Architects and completed in 2006 at a cost of about $95 million.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Ashley Calapatia

Do you know of a new building going up, a business expanding or being renovated, a park in the works or even a new house being built in the neighbourhood? Please send your development news tips to [email protected]

132 Sustainability Articles | Page: | Show All
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