June 30, 2016

Construction Kicks Off at Seven TCHC Buildings

The TowerWise Retrofit Project is off to a great start with the successful installation of 1,200 low-flow toilets at seven TCHC multi-residential buildings. This is the first of many upgrades to help the buildings save water and reduce energy consumption. The project has the ambitious goals of reducing energy consumption by 20% and lowering greenhouse gas emissions by 30%.

“The TCHC building management staff has been helpful in coordinating the installation of the 1,200 toilets. Thanks to their help, we were able to enter resident units and replace the toilets in an organized and efficient manner,” says Steve Korobaylo, Ecosystem’s site supervisor.

In the next few weeks, the boiler room at 7 and 11 Arleta Avenue will also get an upgrade to improve the buildings’ heating system. To be installed are two new condensing boilers, a variable frequency drive, and heat pumps. These upgrades will improve resident comfort and also save energy.

Additional upgrades to take place this summer include installation of heat reflector panels at 710 and 720 Trethewey Drive, a boiler retrofit at 101 Kendleton Drive, air handling unit replacements and a comprehensive LED lighting retrofit for outdoor and common areas at all seven buildings. These improvements aim to enhance resident comfort and indoor air quality, with the added benefits of generating energy savings and lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

The complexity and intricacies of the project are aptly managed by an approach called Integrated Project Delivery, where stakeholders participate in structured charrettes to share ideas and align interests. The principal stakeholders of the project are Ecosystem, with its engineering and energy efficiency expertise, Toronto Atmospheric Fund (TAF), with its financing and project management skills, and Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC), the buildings’ landlord.

“We hold biweekly calls with TAF and TCHC to update all parties on project progress and openly discuss and resolve issues,” says Frederick Leonard, Ecosystem’s lead project engineer. “TAF has been excellent in managing the project and it is advantageous to have a partner whose interests are aligned to our own, so that we’re all on the same team, moving in the same direction together.”

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