Last month we took our first look at Milton's Bronte West Condominiums by developer Howland Green, known for their portfolio of energy-efficient developments in the Greater Toronto Area's suburban municipalities. The project at Bronte Street and Derry Road in Milton follows Howland Green's "beyond net-zero" approach to building efficient housing, which starts with construction methods and materials.

The six-storey, Keith Loffler McAlpine Architects-designed building will be built with an upgraded Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) system. The custom-made ICF results in more than triple the insulation value than required in the Ontario Building Code (OBC). The building envelope also boasts high quality triple glazed fiberglass, Low E Argon filled and photo sensitized windows to reflect solar gain in the summer and adjust for absorption in winter, at 4 times the industry standards. The building's roof insulation is also designed to exceed OBC by more than 4 times.

Milton's Bronte West Condominiums, image courtesy of Howland Green

The enhanced ICF material factors into the "smart basements" feature by keeping temperatures stable, eliminating the need for any auxiliary energy. The basements come finished in a “super bright” white paint, resulting in an 80% reduction in lighting requirements and lower utility costs for residents. Energy-efficient appliances, motion-sensor LED lighting for hallways and garage parking will further minimize electricity costs, while energy monitoring software will allow diagnostics so adjustments can be made.

Even the building's power source will be sustainable. Evident in renderings, the roof of the building will be lined with an array of photo-voltaic panels which will serve as the building's primary energy source, offering a large production capability tied into the electricity grid. Like the existing Howland Green Business Centre, energy produced beyond annual needs will be offered to the grid at no cost. Additional power will be stored using NiCad and lithium battery systems, as well as used in conjunction with kinetic harvesters to compress air, with pneumatic pressure to be used in garage doors and exhaust fans. 

Milton's Bronte West Condominiums, image courtesy of Howland Green

Water and heating efficiency are also top priorities, ranging from in-suite features like high-efficiency and low-flow appliances to double-wrapped hot water tanks that minimize heat loss, and geothermal heating and air conditioning. Roof cisterns will harvest rainwater, which will then be filtered and used in toilets, while 'grey water' from surfaces will be collected, filtered, and used for watering plants and washing cars. The building will also implement a system where “spent energy” of hydro transformation and photovoltaic inversion is captured from the air and fed into the domestic hot water supply.

Additional information and images can be found in our database file for the project, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum thread, or leave a comment in the field provided at the bottom of this page.

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Related Companies:  Cosburn Nauboris Landscape Architects, Howland Green, Keith Loffler McAlpine Architects