Kitchen/Dining Room

The flooring and millwork in the condo s dining room use FSC certified wood. Look for clothes and dish washers that consume less water, and clothes dryers and refrigerators that consume less energy.
The “reusing kitchen water” diagram linked on the right shows how water from the clothes washer and dishwasher is reused as grey water for the toilet and landscaping. The “Dining/Food Prep Area” link shows how the kitchen table easily converts to a prep centre. The kitchen includes a panel that showcases the radiant heating system. For information about the types and advantages of radiant heat, click on the link under “Resources” (right).

Outcome

Imagine if the next 10,000 condos built were sustainable condos rather than conventional condos…
We would avoid the generation of nearly half a million tonnes of waste – that’s nearly 23,000 full garbage trucks or one-quarter of the volume of a football stadium per year.

Outcome

Imagine if the next 10,000 condos built in a Canadian city were sustainable condos rather than conventional condos…
We would save enough water to fill half an Olympic size swimming pool every day.

Outcome

Imagine if the next 10,000 condos built were sustainable condos rather than conventional condos…
We would save enough energy to heat and power an equivalent of an additional 2,000 condos a year.

Climate Change

The Sustainable Condo shows how buildings, particularly urban condominiums, can be designed or updated to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Climate change has already manifested itself across Canada. For instance, over the last century in British Columbia, the average annual temperature warmed by 0.6ºC on the coast, 1.1ºC in the interior, and 1.7ºC in the northern region. There and in many other areas of the country, climate change is contributing to the increase in the frequency and severity of “natural disasters”, such as floods, ice storms, forest fires, pine beetle infestations, and droughts. Around the world the situation has become even more severe. According to the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC), up to 40 per cent of GHG emissions in the country come from the operation of buildings. The places where we live and work therefore have a huge impact on climate change. By designing better buildings, retrofitting or incorporating green technologies and other efficient components into existing buildings, and making some changes to the way we use our buildings, we can greatly reduce the amount of GHG emissions they emit. The Sustainable Condo demonstration suite provides many practical examples of ways to reduce household energy consumption. See the rest of this website for further information. Also see the CMHC My Energy Savings Page to find out how simple home improvements such as energy-efficient lighting and appliances can help your household save energy and reduce your utility bills.

Water

The Sustainable Condo employs many water-saving devices.
Water is one of the defining characteristics of the Vancouver region – the legendary winter rains, the Pacific Ocean, the mighty Fraser River, and the numerous streams that traverse the landscape. We perceive limitless water all around us and perhaps as a result we are amongst the greatest consumers of water in the world. At least half of the water consumed by a household – such as for our toilets, dishwashers, and clothes washing – doesn’t have to meet potable water standards. The average Lower Mainland resident uses approximately 325 litres of water per day at home. The Sustainable Condo will save a resident 100 litres of water per day.

Resources and Materials

The Sustainable Condo uses materials and resources efficiently and effectively.
Canada is one of the top five countries in terms of waste generated per person. More than one-third of this waste generation is due to the construction and demolition of our buildings. By disposing of these materials in landfills we are throwing valuable resources away. Building construction worldwide consumes approximately 3 billion tonnes of raw resources each year or 40% of the total global use, depleting natural resources at an unsustainable rate (World Watch Institute Paper 124, 1995). The Sustainable Condo uses materials and resources efficiently and effectively.
weblink: worldwatch.org/

Land Use

The Sustainable Condo encourages dense urban living and effective use of space.
The population of the Greater Vancouver region is expected to double by 2020. Given that more than half of the land used in Vancouver is already occupied by housing it will be a challenge to provide enough land for housing, while also preserving our farmland, green space and natural heritage. Urban sprawl all over the world is threatening agricultural lands, green space, and recreational opportunities. The Sustainable Condo encourages dense urban living and effective use of space, particularly in cities such as Vancouver and Toronto. Our housing choices have land use impacts beyond our community’s borders. The resource and associated land requirements for producing the materials used to construct and operate our homes, and to dispose of the materials after their useful life are much greater than the physical space occupied by the building itself.

Energy Star

Energy star products are the same or better than standard products, except they use less energy.
Energy Star is a US government backed program that identifies products that meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the EPA and the US Department of Energy. It also provides an energy performance rating system for buildings.
weblink: energystar.gov

Did You Know?

Energy-use fact
Canadians are the largest consumers of energy in the world, per person. For instance, a typical Greater Vancouver family spends $1,700 each year on energy in the home.