The EnerGuide label, established by Natural Resources Canada, is a tool to help you make an energy-wise choice when buying a new appliance.
The EnerGuide label has been in use for 25 years. By law, the label must be affixed to all new electrical appliances manufactured in or imported into Canada. The label is not a “seal” of energy efficiency; it s a tool that lets you compare the energy consumption of similar appliances and determine how specific models measure up to the most energy-efficient appliances available. The label indicates the amount of electricity – measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year – used by an appliance
weblink: oee.nrcan.gc.ca/energuide/index.cfm

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

Health and Well-Being

The Sustainable Condo provides a healthy and toxin-free living environment.
Housing choices influence our health and well-being. The average Canadian spends more than 80% of their day indoors and improper design, construction, or material selection in homes can lead to poor indoor air quality or uncomfortable living environments. Indoor air quality can be degraded by chemicals used in the home or released from furniture, carpets, and building materials; gases released from improperly tuned furnaces and appliances; molds spores from poorly ventilated areas; and even accumulations of outdoor pollutants inside the building. Poor air quality can lead to a variety of negative health impacts – especially respiratory ailments. The Sustainable Condo provides a healthy and toxin-free living environment.

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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.

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/


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.

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.


The technologies used in the Sustainable Condo save a significant amount of energy.
Canadians are the largest consumers of energy in the world. Most of the energy used in our homes is for space and water heating; often provided or derived from fossil fuels such as natural gas. The use of fossil fuels to heat and power our homes is contributing to global climate change, degrading our air quality, and at the same time wasting our money. The Sustainable Condo will save $300 – $400 a year in energy costs.

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Benefits of the Sustainable Condo

The Sustainable Condo allows you to use less, and enjoy more.
With a sustainable condo you will enjoy: • Natural ventilation, for a healthier home and improved indoor air quality • Natural lighting and improved light quality • High quality, environmentally-friendly products and appliances • More durable products, appliances that are cheaper to run • Greater thermal comfort • More money after paying the bills! Our communities will benefit too: Imagine if the next 10,000 condos built in Greater Vancouver were sustainable condos rather than conventional condos… • We would save enough energy to heat and power an additional 2,500 condos a year. • We would save enough water to fill half an Olympic size swimming pool every day. • We would avoid the generation of nearly half a million tonnes of waste – that’s nearly 23,000 full garbage trucks per year or one-quarter of the volume of BC Place Stadium. • We could continue to preserve our agricultural land reserve and natural heritage, and create liveable sustainable communities.

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Features of the Sustainable Condo

The many features of the Condo include energy and water-saving appliances, renewable, recyclable, durable, and non-toxic products and building materials.
The Condo has dozens of energy saving appliances, devices and building strategies that can reduce a household s energy and water bills by $300 to $400 a year: • an energy efficient fridge that uses 28% of the electricity of a conventional fridge, saving almost $30 a year. • an energy and water efficient dishwasher that uses 61% of the energy of a conventional dishwasher and half the amount of water, saving almost $20 a year. • an energy and water efficient combined clothes washer and dryer that uses only 10% of the energy and 25% of the water of conventional models. Water efficient appliances, fixtures, and landscaping that can significantly reduce water use and save you money in the long term: • a dual flush toilet that uses 3 and 4 litres of water only as compared to conventional 6 litre toilets. • low flow showerheads that use less than 6 litres of water per minute compared to over 9 litres for conventional showers. • a Xero Flor green roofing system that retains and decreases the rate & volume of rainwater runoff from roofscapes. Renewable, recyclable, durable, and non-toxic products and building materials that are made from local and recycled content sources, including wood from sustainably harvested forests and FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) wood for the millwork and flooring of the condo, from sustainably harvested forests. Products that reduce fumes and off gases from paints and finishes, window coverings, floor coverings, cabinets, and shelving products. All natural, organic cotton, hemp, and wool materials that will contribute to the overall health and well-being of occupants. Advanced glazing systems incorporate photovoltaic panels, integrated shading devices and high performance glazing. Natural ventilation and daylighting. Infloor radiant heating and cooling integrated with building structure uses energy storage capacity (thermal mass) of concrete structural system.

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