|Downtown Toronto Unveils Inspiring Sustainable Design with New Green Buildings|
|Written by Four Green Steps|
|Wednesday, 08 August 2012 00:10|
Written by Ari Lesniak, Four Green Steps
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Toronto is showing its environmental side as two impressive green building designs are unveiled: A residential home looks to change the climate of building in Toronto as the city goes through the midst of a crazy condo boom and the famous Toronto Dominion tower greens its roof.
Architect William Dewson has designed the first LEED Platinum Certification to be achieved in Toronto and the surrounding GTA. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is a third-party certification program and an internationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. There are six environmental components to this home: Light. Air. Earth. Sun. Water. Harmony. This house is filled with natural light, illuminated by skylights through three floors and even into the basement apartment, through a glass floor on the ground level. A reductive cooling system pumps air through a fan coil and along dynamic partitions in the ceiling toward the windows allows the air to float down, rather than blowing cold air on the feet and up the spine. The earth component is satisfied by a geothermal system consisting of six 180-foot deep wells, each supplying one ton of Mother Nature’s heating or cooling. Sun is used by the 25 bifacial solar panels on the roof which work with a white painted roof to generate 7 kilowatts of electricity that feeds directly into the Ontario power grid. The system will pay for itself in 10 years. The low flow plumbing and permeable driveway look to save water in the house. Harmony seems like an odd component to be a part of the home and that’s because it is in fact in other homes. Two kitchens, light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, doors and windows were recovered from the previous home to be reused, and recycling of demolition waste was more than 80% efficient .
The Toronto Dominion tower has truly embraced the color of its logo and transformed it’s heat-absorbing asphalt roof-scape into an energy-saving canvas of greenery. The tower has been magnificent with its black steel ever since its construction in the 1960s. Leaks had been the catalyst for the project; where creek sedge grass has been planted in 690 low-lying aluminum frames lined up according to a strict grid. The green roof, with a built in misting system cost arou7nd 30 per cent more to construct than a conventional roof. The misting systems is only a precautionary measure as rainfall capture is to be the main source used to irrigate the soil beds. Though this cost will also come with almost immediate savings. The insulation value has been immediately increased from R5 to R25. The R-value is a measure of thermals resistance, which means costs will be saved on heating and cooling bills. The roof also has external benefits as it is powerful enough to clean some of the carbon dioxide from the air. Unfortunately the TD rooftop will not be accessible to the public, a video feed will allow viewers to watch the progress of the sedge grass.
Green architecture is a great way to green cities and promote environmental awareness-these changes to green design are being embraced not only by businesses, but university and condominium developers as well. Not only are there courtyards at CAMH on Queen Street West, an extensive fragrant garden at the CNIB, but the Royal Victoria Health Centre in Barrie has just installed nine green roofs.
Image courtesy of Creative Commons.
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