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New Ontario Building Code Impact on Condo Design

I was watching this video at the Globe and Mail website:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/video/globe-now/video-globe-now/article21571678/

I wasn't aware that as of the end of last year condos will no longer be allowed to have windows that exceed 40% of the exterior wall. This will fundamentally change the look of building designs in this city.

I saw this as well. I am wondering where I can get more information about this. There was no big media coverage like there was for the change over 6-storey combustible buildings. I would like to learn more.
 
I wish it meant more brick and mortar.... but this being Canada, it probably means more spandrel... a LOT more spandrel.
 
Yeah, the new OBC guidelines are going to dictate what percentage of a wall can be what is known as 'vision' glass (ie. floor-to-ceiling glass walls). You can still clad buildings in glass, and have a very efficient structure. Spandrel units are placed in front of insulated backpans, which is just as efficient as any normal wall with batt insulation, if not moreso, because it is built in a factory and as a result, the quality of the seal is very high.

You might still see buildings clad in all glass. But you would see more spandrel units, with horizontal transoms creating a window sill at some set dimension from the floor to give them the maximum allowable window coverage. In effect, this would create a punched window opening, but with the benefits of an interlocked window/curtainwall system. A lot of newer hospitals are clad in walls like this.
 
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the new condo proposals to come out in the last 11 months don't seem any different than the ones before it, to be honest.

The video also said that glass is still allowed under certain circumstances, I wonder if developers are simply opting for that? I'm sure this doesn't ban curtainwall, office developers would have a tantrum if that occurred.
 
The video also said that glass is still allowed under certain circumstances, I wonder if developers are simply opting for that? I'm sure this doesn't ban curtainwall, office developers would have a tantrum if that occurred.
The guidelines don't have anything to do with window-wall or curtain-wall. Both curtainwalls and window-walls are made up of vision area and spandrel area. Vision glass has nothing in between the interior and exterior but an insulated glass unit. This is what the new guidelines are trying to control. The spandrel areas are made up of insulatd glass units placed in front of pre-fabricated insulation and sheet metal panels, which creates a wall with whatever R-value that you want to design. To the best of my understanding of the new code guidelines, the latter would not be considered "window area" at all.
 
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Hopefully architects will come up with attractive alternatives to glass boxes, which can be quite attractive when well designed. The spandrel and glass look of buildings like 300 Front seems like a step backwards.
 
I'm not knowledgeable on this subject but I gather from the interview that we haven't seen much of an impact from this code change yet in our buildings under construction because most of what we see being built today and those projects coming on stream soon are not subject to the new rules as their designs were already submitted prior to the cut-off.
 
I'm hoping the 40% rule will result in no more units with interior bedrooms.

we better not hear developers complain that the new rule will cost more to build since many touted the use of floor-to-ceiling windows were never a cost savings to construct.
 
A bedroom must have a window (to provide light from the exterior) and a closet, else it is a "den". However, one use of a "den" for could be a "bedroom".

The bedroom does not need to have a window to be considered a bedroom. A room is still considered a bedroom if it is an interior room with a closet, and a glass door.

My place at Yonge & Eglinton (Quantum) was by all legal definitions a 1 bedroom plus den, yet the bedroom did not have a window:

2191-yonge-layout-2.jpg

http://2191yongestreetcondos.com/2009/02/18/floor-plans-2181-2191-yonge-street/


I actually prefer interior bedrooms. Much more privacy, quieter, and darker in the area you sleep, and usually means a brighter living space where you actually spend your time awake.
 

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