Ontario’s Chapelview affordable housing project gains LEED Platinum certification
April 6, 2011
The Chapelview affordable housing project in Brampton, Ont., has become the first LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Canada Platinum affordable housing building, and one of only about a fifteen LEED NC Platinum buildings in the country, it said. Through the work of the Region of Peel, Martinway Contracting, and Enermodal Engineering, Chapelview is expected to achieve 50% energy savings and 46% indoor water savings compared with a conventional multi-unit residential building.
By Alyssa Dalton
Chapelview, designed by HCA Architecture Inc., consists of six levels of underground municipal and residential parking and 15-stories (200 apartment units) of housing targeted for people with disabilities and low-income seniors and singles.
Enermodal Engineering served as the LEED, Energy Efficiency, and Building Commissioning consultant.
“This is one of the best examples I’ve seen of a group of individuals really taking the initiative to meet a lofty, but attainable goal that results in the best possible building for the environment, community, and individuals living there,” said Steve Kemp, Division Head, Energy Performance Group, Enermodal Engineering.
Rewarding synergies: affordable housing and sustainable design
While there is an incremental cost increase for LEED buildings, this cost is offset in 2 to 15 years by decreased utility costs, said Enermodal. “Affordable housing developers, who pay utility bills, can certainly reap the benefits of lower electricity and water use as affordable housing projects are designed to last over 30 years.”
Although planning for the $40 million project began in 2003, it was in 2006 that Martinway Contracting’s John D’Angelo became familiar with LEED and offered to make Chapelview a LEED certified building at no additional cost, he said. In fact, he said his intent was not just to achieve LEED certification but to aim for the highest level–Platinum.
D’Angelo explained: “The benefits are not just from a sustainability perspective but also for the thousands of individuals who will experience the highest quality of life who otherwise would not even have a place to rest their heads at night.”
Independent ventilation system
Every suite at Chapelview has an independent ventilation system, which, combined with an airtight building envelope, proper levels of insulation, and weather stripped suite doors, minimize the transfer of air and odours and ensure the very best air quality for residents, said Enermodal.
The ventilation fan runs continuously, helping to distribute fresh air into the suite and to each space through ductwork, while stale air is exhausted from the kitchen and bathroom. By turning on the bathroom light, or turning on the kitchen range hood, the speed at which fresh air is brought in and stale air is removed is increased.
Here comes the sun
Suite window size was based on balancing the need for sufficient daylight with the need to minimize energy loss (heat in winter and cool in summer). The windows are double-glazed, low-e, and argon-filled with insulated spacers, and according to Enermodal, the aluminum frames incorporate very large thermal breaks that reduce both heat loss and the potential for condensation.
Hallway lighting is controlled by occupancy sensors to save energy–half of the lighting turns off when no one is the hallway for an extended period of time, and when someone enters the hallway, all lights will turn on.