The Sustainable Condo Prototype Project: Green for the Holidays

A prototype green condo is now open to the public in Toronto, showcasing the best of Canada’s green building materials, products, and technologies.

Designed by Busby Perkins + Will, the Sustainable Condo Prototype Project is the product of EcoSmart, a non-profit foundation dedicated to the development of sustainable building technologies. After eight stops across Canada at a variety of events, the Condo has landed in Toronto as part of a larger educational exhibit on green technologies co-sponsored by both the City of Toronto and Exhibition Place.

Composed of 90% recycled steel, pre-cast, 50% high volume flyash concrete panels, and wood, the project’s stated goal is to develop a working prototype for a sustainable building, with the final product “being both a building and a process.” Apropos of the holiday season, the Condo was furnished with locally-grown trees and wreaths, LED ornaments, soy candles, and recycled-paper holiday cards and gift wrap as it opened at Exhibition Place in late November with the theme “How to Have a Green Holiday.”

The Condo purports to reduce household energy and water bills by approximately $400/year through a variety of green measures, including energy efficient appliances, a dual flush toilet and low-flow showerheads, and a Xero Flor green roofing system that retains rainwater and decreases both the rate and volume of runoff. Other green features include renewable, recycled, and low-VOC building materials, efficient glazing, photovoltaics, and advanced shading techniques, among many others. The Condo is serving as a showcase for a variety of these green building technologies, products, and materials, each of which is currently furnished by- and available from- Canadian companies.

Ultimately, the sustainable lessons that Vancouver-based Busby, EcoSmart, and the over 40 Canadian sponsors and partners learn from the project should help influence the course of planning and construction for Vancouver’s 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Exhibition Place itself also offers a number of sustainable features, including a 100 kW photovoltaic generation plant, Canada’s first urban wind turbine (1.2 million kWh annually), and an LED streetlight project.

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