Two much-awarded, Ottawa-based housing leaders have added to their trophy collection with wins at the 2020 EnerQuality Awards.
RND Construction won green renovation project of the year for an art deco project in Rockcliffe Park and Minto Communities, founded and still headquartered in Ottawa, won Ontario green builder of the year — low-rise.
The annual awards celebrate energy-efficient building and related professional expertise across Ontario. Ottawa companies are consistently among the winners. This year, three businesses — including The Conscious Builder — were finalists for a total of eight possible awards.
A green reno affects everything
Winning green renovation project of the year means “we’re maintaining leadership in this field,” says RND president Roy Nandram, a regular award winner at the local, provincial and national levels. RND was a finalist for four EnerQuality trophies this year, and this year’s winning project also took home a trophy at last year’s Ottawa Housing Design Awards.
The winning project, designed by Simmonds Architecture, involved an extensive renovation of a 1970s home to create a more open-concept floor plan and a stronger indoor-outdoor connection with extensive energy-efficiency upgrades to minimize the impact on the natural environment.
A complete renovation of the home’s building envelope and other changes, including the addition of an air-source heat pump and two energy recovery ventilators (ERVs) for high efficiency, have reduced the home’s annual energy consumption by 74 per cent. Using electricity as a primary fuel source has shrunk the greenhouse gas emissions from 18.8 to 3.4 tonnes per year, while interior finishes and materials have decreased the environmental impact and improved indoor air quality.
With a project like this, “the house needs to be vacant to do a really good green reno,” says Nandram. “Retrofitting all the outside walls, installing and properly sealing new windows — that’s the basis of a green reno. When you do a green reno, every room is affected so you have to renovate everything. You have to expect a bigger budget.”
Building green and sustainably
In winning the green builder of the year award for low-rise, Minto demonstrated leadership in energy efficiency and environmental stewardship in Toronto-area projects. The company has also been a leader in increasing awareness of energy efficiency and green building in its sales and marketing programs.
“Sustainability and green building practices have been part of the Minto Communities story since our inception over 65 years ago, and we are consistently thoughtful in how we incorporate these aspects into our communities from the very early stages of design,” says Roya Khaleeli, Minto’s Toronto-area director of sustainability and innovation.
“As a developer, we are committed to building homes that are healthier, protected from rising utility costs, and with lower greenhouse gas emissions, as well as being beautifully designed.”
Minto was also named low-rise green builder of the year at the recent BILD (Building Industry and Land Development Association) awards in Toronto.