commercial buildings

Going Green – Striving for Commercial Building Sustainability

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“Going green” has been a buzz phrase since the late 1970’s. For some, “Going green” meant the old adage “reduce, reuse, recycle”. By the turn of the 21st century, there became a growing interest in using renewable energy (i.e. Solar, wind, natural gas, etc). However, from a developer’s perspective, “going green” has become an aggressive goal to increase sustainability of their structures before, during and after construction without undermining the integrity or stability of the surrounding natural resources or ecology.

Making “Every Building Greener” is the vision and heartbeat of the Canada Green Building Council, the Canadian issuers of the internationally recognized Leaders in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification. Some of the strategies they encourage commercial developers to employ include the following:

During the design & construction phase, “Going Green” would include strategies such as
incorporating greenhouse or garden roofs to help reduce carbon emissions, and restoring or creating gardens around the parameter of the building
large windows for light emission at the design stage
recycling of building materials during the construction stage in order to minimize the exhausting of natural resources to create building materials and reduce “waste” materials going into landfills
the use of renewable energy resources such as Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) cells along the outside of the building to capture solar energy to offset the use of main stream electricity
During the interior design and construction stage, “Going Green” strategies could include
constructing the interior layout to maximize natural light emission throughout each floor
utilizing energy efficient light bulbs and light sensors to automatically dim or brighten lights based on the amount of natural light coming into the building
utilizing high thermal mass insulation in ceilings and walls to help minimize the energy used for heating and cooling
installing water-saving toilets
installing living walls or indoor garden areas to control carbon dioxide emissions and improve air quality
For Building Operations & Maintenance, “Going Green” strategies would include
keeping the building clean
ensuring comfortable temperature for tenants
encouraging the “reduce, reuse, recycle” programs by providing clearly marked containers throughout the building for waste and recyclable materials
ensuring all replacement materials are either energy efficient, or made from recycled materials
Besides being environmentally responsible, developers that have made it a priority to “go green” have seen their utility costs go down. One company estimates that its water and energy reductions alone have saved $40 million. Outside of the savings, these companies have attracted top quality tenants and employees, and thus have seen their vacancy rates decrease. If that is not an incentive enough to consider “going green”, then I don’t know what is.

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DJ Mcgauley and Associates Inc. is your Office Space Planning, Renovations and Relocation Project Management Company of choice. If a renovation or relocation of your office space is in your plans, please contact us to arrange a no-obligation site meeting. By the end of that meeting, you will know all that would be required to make your office renovation/relocation project a successful reality.

Ask us about our asset management services!

Call 416-239-1931, email info@djmcgauleyandassociates.com or visit our website for more information and to complete our contact form.

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References:

Wikipedia, “Sustainable Development”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainable_development

Canada Green Building Council, Greater Toronto Chapter, “Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) Industry Development Initiative”, http://www.cagbctoronto.org/initiatives/building-integrated-photovoltaic-bipv-industry-development-initiative

Wilcox, D., Property Biz Canada, “CF Trumpets Global Leadership in Corporate Responsibility Report”, April 4, 2017, https://renx.ca/cadillac-fairview-trumpets-global-leadership/

Wikipedia, “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leadership_in_Energy_and_Environmental_Design

Key Words: Going Green, Energy , building

Tags: LEED, Canada Green Building Council, Facility Maintenance, Sustainability, Commercial Building, construction

Mixed-Use Building Designs — The Ongoing Trend For Toronto’s Skyline

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Toronto Skyline Aerial View
Toronto Skyline Aerial View

It used to be that commercial buildings were just commercial buildings, whether office, retail or industrial, and residential buildings just residential buildings whether apartments, houses or condominiums. But more and more, we see developers marrying the commercial building with residential developments to create new entities now known as mixed-use building designs.

Why the trend?

Well, originally it was in response to the influx of people returning to the urban centres to live closer to where they work. This fostered increased development in condominiums in certain areas of the down-town core, but with land space being limited, developers had to find a new `space` to continue their development projects. That is when mixed-use building designs were brought into being.

With mixed-use building designs, both the business or retail world and the residential world can co-inhabit the same real estate. For businesses, it creates an opportunity to be close to their potential clients or their ideal employees. For residents, it offers the conveniences of everyday living, playing, shopping and working close to home.

Now, developers see mixed-use building designs creating two new opportunities:

  1. The opportunity to establish community within the urban setting. Not only can mixed-use building designs bring general communities together, but they can bring people with common interests together. For example, in an effort to bring people with an interest in making a career in the arts, there is a mixed-use development arts and entertainment tower slated for completion in the fall of 2015 in the heart of Toronto’s Entertainment District, which will include a 43-storey condominium development strictly for arts-focused tenants atop a 6,000 sq ft arts and event venue which the arts-focused tenants can decorate using their talents as well as use for their fine arts, music, dance or drama events.1
  2. The opportunity to preserve the past and blend it with the present. With several older commercial buildings built in the 1920s still standing today throughout Toronto, some deemed historical sites are scheduled for restoration. The plans for these historical retail and commercial sites not only includes restoring these sites to their former glory, but also turning those sites into mixed-use building designs by adding brand new multilevel high-rise condominium buildings atop each site. Some of those sites are slated for completion in 2017.

And it won’t stop there. With a mandate to improve the physical appeal of Toronto for both tourists and urban dwellers, and with nowhere to build but up, more and more mixed-use building designs are certain to permeate the skyline of Toronto.

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DJ McGauley and Associates Inc. is your Office Move, Reconstruction and Reconfiguration Project Management Company of choice for the Toronto, GTA and surrounding areas. If an office move or reconstruction of your 2000 – 25,000 sqft office space is a remote possibility, consider contacting us to arrange a no-obligation site meeting. We guarantee that by the end of that meeting you will know all that would be required to make your office move/reconstruction project a successful reality.

Call 416-239-1931 , email info@djmcgauleyandassociates.com, or visit our website to complete our contact form.

 

1 Artscape, Artscape Sandbox, torontoartscape.org/artscape-sandbox

Williams, Patricia, Daily Commercial News, $300 million Yonge Sheppard Centre upgrade planned, http://dailycommercialnews.com/Projects/News/2015/8/300-million-Yonge-Sheppard-Centre-upgrade-planned-1009361W/