Ironstone Condominiums in Burlington by Davies Smith Developments is digging deep for sustainability. The 16-storey, 210-unit building, with architecture by Raw Design, interior design by fullscale + partners, landscaping by Seferian Design Group, and green-building consulting by Select Energy Solutions, will be using geothermal energy for heating and cooling. Geothermal heating promises to cut Ironstone’s total energy use by 60-70%, with a reduction of 100% in natural gas use and 5-15% in electricity use over traditional HVAC systems. Other eco-friendly initiatives will shrink Ironstone’s carbon footprint even more.
Common in Europe and gaining ground in North America, geothermal HVAC is powered by heat from the sun absorbed into the earth, which below a depth of about 2.5 meters retains a constant, year-round temperature of 11°c in southern Ontario. A specially-designed pipe, installed vertically into bore holes drilled 15 meters into the ground in a return loop, circulates water, extracting heat in the winter and shedding heat in the summer. Geothermal heat pumps inside the building compress heat from the geothermal system and convert it to hot air, which is circulated to individual living areas. In the summer, the process is reversed, with the heat pumps extracting heat from the air in the building and releasing it into the geothermal system, which carries it back underground. At Ironstone, every suite will have its own heat pump and thermostat for efficient and personalised climate control. The building’s geothermal system will be supplemented by a solar panel system to optimise indoor comfort throughout the year further still. The building also will feature green roofs and terraces to offset radiant heat in summer and low-flow plumbing fixtures to promote better water conservation.
Ironstone Condominiums is sustainable in its urban form as well. It will define an edge to an as-yet undefined street and offer much-needed retail services from its ground floor to Burlington’s newly-emerging uptown core.