Everything Developers Need to Know to Build A Sustainable Condo

According to a report by the CaGBC, the green building market in Canada is expected to reach $150 Billion by 2030. What’s fueling this growth is a steady increase in

demand for sustainable living in Canada.

Led by Gen Z, more and more people today recognize the importance of protecting the environment and creating a greener future. As people are becoming more conscious of their ecological footprint, they are seeking eco-friendly and energy-efficient homes, including pre-construction condos.

Once you’re done with this blog, you will know why green condos are so popular and how to identify one by focusing on its features. I leave you with some of my favourite sustainable condo examples in Ontario, Canada.

Why Are Sustainable Condos Gaining Popularity?

Building a sustainable condo offers a wide range of benefits – from environmental to economical to social. Let’s take a closer look at some of these benefits:

Increased Energy Efficiency and Reduced Carbon Footprint: Sustainable condos are designed with energy-efficient features that minimize energy consumption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Designing buildings with features like well-insulated building envelopes, high-performance windows, and energy-efficient lighting systems can help builders significantly reduce their energy consumption. According to the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC), green buildings can achieve up to 50% reduction in energy consumption and up to 35% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional buildings.

Lower Operating Costs and Long-Term Savings for Homeowners: Sustainable condos benefit from low operating costs due to their energy-efficient design. This helps homeowners save money. All the utility bills for heating, cooling, and lighting feel discounted. Most sustainable condos are built using high-tech, durable materials and advanced technologies which can reduce your maintenance and repair costs. Over the long term, these savings add up and can help you achieve some of your other financial goals.

Enhanced Quality of Life and Community Engagement: Not to say that other condos do not care about their community but sustainable condos definitely take community engagement up a notch by adding social responsibility to the mix. Most of these modern condos are equipped with features such as improved indoor air quality, natural lighting, and access to green spaces can contribute to a higher quality of life for residents. Community engagement is linked to sustainability through events such as recycling programs and shared amenities that encourage social interactions among residents.

Growing Demand and Higher Resale Value in the Market: There is a growing demand for sustainable condos among homebuyers and investors in Canada. What’s surprising though is that many people are willing to pay a premium to protect the future of our planet. A report released by TD found that ‘green condos’ resale for prices between 5%-14% higher. About time we paid for our sins!

How To Build A Sustainable Condo? Key Features

Sustainable condos are at the forefront of eco-friendly living, incorporating various key features that contribute to their sustainability and environmental responsibility. Below are some of the key features to pay attention to before you build a sustainable condo:

Energy-efficient building envelope and Insulation: Sustainable condos use advanced building envelope and insulation techniques to help the building maximize its energy efficiency. For example, using high-performance windows, insulated walls, and roofs can significantly reduce heat loss or gain resulting in lower energy consumption for heating and cooling.

Renewable energy sources: Many sustainable condos rely on renewable energy sources, such as solar panels and geothermal systems, to generate clean and renewable electricity. For instance, the Dockside Green development in Victoria, Canada, features solar panels on its rooftops that generate approximately 150,000 kilowatt-hours of clean electricity each year, reducing its carbon footprint.

Water-saving measures: Sustainable condos have to implement water-saving measures to reduce water consumption and promote conservation. Low-flow fixtures, such as faucets, showerheads, and toilets, can significantly reduce water usage without compromising functionality. Rainwater harvesting systems collect and store rainwater for irrigation or other non-potable uses, reducing reliance on municipal water supply. For example, the M City development in Mississauga, Ontario, incorporates rainwater harvesting systems that can save up to 10 million liters of water annually.

Sustainable construction materials and practices: Sustainable condos must prioritize the use of environmentally friendly construction materials and practices. This can include using recycled or locally sourced materials, reducing waste, and implementing sustainable construction practices.

Smart technology and building automation: Using smart technologies like building automation systems to optimize resource management and reduce energy consumption can multiply efficiency when you’re building a sustainable condo. This can include automated lighting, heating, and cooling systems that adjust based on occupancy and environmental conditions. Automation is also being used to make smart meters that monitor and manage energy usage in real time. All these technologies can help us minimize our overall energy consumption.

Green spaces and amenities: Every sustainable condo project must have green spaces and amenities that promote health and well-being. This can include rooftop gardens, community gardens, parks, and other recreational spaces that provide opportunities for relaxation, physical activity, and connection with nature. For example, the One Planet Living development in Elmvale, Ontario, features ample green spaces, walking trails, and a community garden that promote healthy and sustainable living for its residents.

Example of Successful Sustainable Condo Development in Canada

The Greenbelt MicroLofts, Hamilton, Ontario

One of my favourite examples of sustainable condo development in Canada is The Greenbelt MicroLofts in Hamilton, Ontario. This project features compact and energy-efficient micro-lofts built with sustainable materials and technologies, such as low-flow fixtures, LED lighting, and high-performance windows. The building includes a rooftop garden and a bike-sharing program to help its residents attain their fitness goals. In my experience, both homebuyers and investors love this project because it’s not just a great place to build a life but due to its sophisticated and sustainable design – it has great resale value as well!

Daniel’s MPV 2 Condos, Toronto, Ontario

Daniels MPV 2 in Toronto is not just a notable sustainable condo project but according to me – it’s one of the best pre-construction condos in Toronto. Period. Energy-efficiency – check. Water-saving measures incorporated – check. Sustainable transportation options – check. Daniels MVP 2 is LEED certified and has been recognized by the Canadian Green Building Council with the Green Building Excellency Award.

Final Words

I have said all that I had to say. Now it’s your turn. Have you come across any sustainable features that you’d like to see incorporated in a condo? Share your thoughts in the comments section, I’d love to hear from you!

Elise Wu

Elise Wu, an alumna of Yale University with a degree in Environmental Policy, has spent more than two decades advocating for environmental protection and sustainable resource management. Before joining our website in 2019, she worked with various NGOs and governmental bodies, playing a key role in developing eco-friendly policies. Besides her professional pursuits, Elise is also a passionate hiker and loves nature photographer, often exploring the untamed wilderness to reconnect with the environment she tirelessly works to preserve.

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