I’m often forwarded articles related to green buildings asking my opinion. With a recent one, I agreed with the opening remarks that achieving LEED® certification is just table-stakes these days – we’ve believed that for a long time. LEED provides excellent principles for designers, builders and property managers to follow, and we love helping clients use them to inspire measures above and beyond. But it doesn’t cover everything that could make a building truly green.
Intrigued, I kept reading, but the article did not provide any more insight. It was just promoting technology that allows users to extract data from unrelated systems to provide insight and control of the energy and carbon impact of the building. This sort of technology could be very useful to some, but it cannot help if a building is not designed and built/renovated to be truly green in the first place.
You can pack all the technology you want into a bad building and it won’t make it green.
What will actually help our buildings reach standards being promoted by governments and contained in new standards like the CaGBC’s Zero Carbon Building standard or the City of Toronto’s Zero Emissions Building Framework, is to simplify our buildings, to get back to basics.
Low-carbon buildings start with better building envelopes (including both improved thermal performance, reduced thermal bridging and improved air-tightness), maximizing passive solar strategies (balance solar heat gain to use it to your advantage) and proper ventilation. Execution is key and there are many reasonable options that can be optimized with the guidance of an expert.
The only means of achieving the energy and carbon reduction levels being looked at by governments today, and necessary to reach our carbon reduction goals to impact climate change is by achieving Passive House levels of energy efficiency in the building or retrofit phase. These buildings do not require complicated systems to monitor, measure and optimize.
There is a place for technology and it should be leveraged but it does not replace good building design.
The South Shore is a two-building condominium project being developed by Fortress Real Developments on the southern shore of Lake Simcoe. We will be consulting in their pursuit of LEED® green building certification.
Multi-unit residential buildings present unique challenges because you are constructing multiple individual units assembled in a single building. We need to consider how homeowners will interact with the features installed and how to balance the project’s overarching goals with the ability of occupants to control their own space and be comfortable in their home.
‘The site includes five acres of protected bird and nature lands, private docks off the Maskinonge River, and a private beach.’ Learn more.
Because the project is on the waterfront, a lot of effort is going into minimizing impact to the existing lake through both the design of the long term stormwater management systems and the erosion and sedimentation control measures being implemented during construction.
Watch for updates and photographs as this project unfolds.
Green Reason is proud to have been awarded LEED® Consulting and Commissioning on 100 Queens Quay (the new LCBO tower). The tower, to be developed by Menkes will be a Class “AAA” 24-storey, 600,000 square foot office tower with retail space at the lower levels. LCBO will be a main tenant with one third of the office space. They will also create a 25,000 square foot flagship store on the ground floor.
Green Reason will be working with tower designers B+H Architects, TMP and Mulvey + Banani International and the entire project team in striving for the highest standards in environmental sustainability, targeting LEED Platinum certification.
The new LCBO tower is part of a larger development of the LCBO lands between Lakeshore Blvd and Queens Quay. The full development will include residential, retail and park space, that will connect to the core via The Path system. The plan is to add 25,000 residents and 10,000 workers to the area.
Learn more from UrbanToronto.ca or read Menkes press release.
Every holiday season, Green Reason makes a donation to this great neighbourhood organization.
We’ve had our home and business in the St. Clair West area for many years. A number of years ago we went to a cookie exchange baking event put on by a local group called The Stop Community Food Centre. During that afternoon we learned a lot about The Stop and it’s programs, and were very impressed Continue reading
Learn more about this international building standard on the IIDEXCanada Show Floor at The Passive House Pavilion. Join Alan there as he moderates a panel discussion at the National Summit on Passive House on December 1, from 9 a.m. until Noon. Continue reading