So the time has come to begin your condo hunt. Whether you’re craving the booming downtown Toronto lifestyle, or prefer to live in one of the GTAs quieter neighbourhoods, let us be the first to say congratulations! Purchasing a condo is a complex and exciting process that you’re bound to enjoy. What really pays off in the end, however, is how much research you do beforehand. When it comes to your home, you want to ensure
you’ve picked a quality condo building.
The fact of the matter is, buying your condo will be one of the most important investments of your life. In the GTA, there are a plethora of condo buildings that are being constructed all the time. Due to this fact, purchasing your condo from a reputable developer is a must if you hope to ensure minimal headaches after moving in.
5 Things to Consider when Shopping for an Eco-Friendly Condo
But what exactly makes a developer a leader in the condo industry?
As opposed to merely looking to cash in on poorly constructed buildings, elite developers will take care to cultivate communities that are well maintained and environmentally responsible. Canada’s leading developers put great thought towards building high-quality condos for homeowners, and they do not fail to consider the environmental impact that their buildings will have on future generations.
This is why going green and purchasing a suite in a sustainable building is the ultimate choice for you,
the planet, and future generations.
Benefits Of Choosing A Green Lifestyle
Living green is a lifestyle, and choosing to live in an environmentally conscious building facilitates your ability to perform daily tasks in a more sustainable manner. Buildings that are truly green are proven to:
- Dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Recycle more of construction waste and divert away from landfills during the building process.
- Save residents money by using high-performance, energy efficient fixtures and appliances.
- Provide a healthy indoor environment for tenants due to more efficient in-suite ventilation systems.
Reducing your carbon footprint is made easier when living in a green condo. This is why it is vital that you research the developer thoroughly before purchasing a condo.
What Top Eco-Builders Do
True green condo buildings are constructed with a serious commitment to sustainable design. The quality of green technologies, amenities, and features are what elevate elite builders above the pack. Here are some examples of what you may find inside only the top ecologically conscious buildings:
- Lighting: All lights are energy saving LED light bulbs.
- Appliances: All appliances have Energy Star certification.
- Paint:Suites are painted with low volatile organic compound paints to minimize off gassing.
- Floors:Installed without adhesives to also reduce off gassing.
- Washroom: Low-flow, high-pressure showerheads and dual flush, water saving toilets.
- Heating, Cooling and Ventilation: Designed with high efficiency or condensing type boilers, variable speed chillers and energy recovery ventilation systems.
- Building Envelope: Designed to decrease heat loss by installing double-glazed argon filled windows with thermally broken frames.
- Parking: Parking garage includes carbon monoxide sensors to activate exhaust fans only when needed, thus reducing exhaust fan energy usage. Furthermore, electric car charging provisions or stations will be available.
- Green Roofs: Vegetated green roofs or rooftop community gardens work to decrease any heat island effects.
- Alternative Transportation: Include ample bicycle storage to encourage less car dependency.
- Water: Irrigation systems reduce potable water consumption for landscaping by relying on rainwater harvesting.
Green Builders Encourage Green Living
In addition to designing state-of-the-art, environmentally conscious suites, the top developers make it their mission to encourage their residents to embrace the green lifestyle through many methods. These sustainable developers work to inspire condo owners by providing them with what is known as a “green gift.”
Green gifts are welcome presents from dedicated developers to new owners that include all the certified-sustainable green essentials they will need in their new condo, such as personal care products and cleaning materials. In providing this gift, developers create a fantastic opportunity for residents to discover environmentally friendly, top of the line products.
Furthermore, the best builders are also known for taking an active role in educating residents on the ways in which they can live their most sustainable lifestyles. By providing them with all the information they need in the form of PDFs and newsletters, residents can make informed choices that positively impact the environment on a daily basis.
How To Identify A Green Building
While it is phenomenal news that the general public has caught on to the importance of carbon footprint reduction, this means that businesses looking to make an extra dollar have as well. “Greenwashing” involves corporations, companies, and organizations touting false information about the sustainability of their product or service. To ensure that a condo developer’s claim of environmental sustainability is legitimate, simply confirm that the building is pursuing a third-party green certification rating system such as the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) certification.
LEED® is a widely recognized green building rating system in 150 countries that provides independent, third-party verification that a building was designed and built with sustainability in mind. It provides the stamp of approval you should be seeking. Here’s why:
According to the Canada Green Building Council, since 2002 LEED® Canada has contributed to:
- Energy savings of 6,503,647 eMWh, enough to power 220,702 Canadian homes for an entire year.
- Recycling over 1.6 million tonnes of construction and demolition waste, the equivalent of 491,174 garbage trucks.
- A 1,261,016 C02e tonne reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking 238,377 cars off the road for a year.
- Installing 231,608 sq. metres of green roofs, the area equivalent of 153 NHL hockey rinks, to reduce the urban heat island effect and mitigate storm water flows in urban areas.
- Water savings totaling over 12.8 billion litres, the equivalent of 5,131 Olympic sized swimming pools.
Questions To Ask When Evaluating A Builder
Green developers go above and beyond the call of duty to provide environmentally sustainable homes for eco-conscious individuals. But how do you know that a builder’s sustainability claims are legitimate, or they’re resorting to greenwashing? The best way to uncover the truth behind a condo builder’s green and eco-friendly status is to visit the sales centre and ask specifically for information about the builder’s sustainability commitment and green building technology and practices. The sales staff should be able to direct you to information like a Corporate Social Responsibility Report (or something similar) that validates the builder’s commitment to sustainability.
Here are a few specific questions you can ask to ensure the developer prioritizes and is committed to environmental sustainability to the same degree that you are:
- Have you (the builder/developer) won awards for green building technology?
- What technologies is the building using to ensure minimal environmental impact?
- How do your green technologies affect my costs as compared to a conventional condo building?
- How does your building differentiate itself from other green buildings?
By posing these questions, you can create a dialogue with the developer or sales centre representative to ensure that you make an informed decision about purchasing a suite from them.
If you do choose to move into a reputable green condo, you can guarantee that your experience will be hassle free, as true eco-conscious developers take immense pride in the construction and maintenance of their buildings.
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