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A Green Condo Development
23/09/2005

Back when I used to subscribe to the dead-tree edition of The Globe and Mail, I was always horribly disappointed with the Friday Real Estate section. Unlike the equivalent part of the National Post, the Globe's status as paid-for advertising bunk was made painfully obvious by the horribly-written sycophantic articles. I haven't held a copy in my hands for three years, so I don't know if it has improved. But I did find one interesting article today, online.

It's about Shane Baghai's St. Gabriel Village development in the Bayview and Sheppard area. It's a "green" development and a potential candidate for LEED certification.

The "green" concept was adopted when the developer had the opportunity to share a site with St. Gabriel's Church, one of the first green churches in North America, which is also conveniently located along the Sheppard subway line.

Mr. Baghai devised a plan to incorporate numerous windmills, solar panels and a hybrid generator into St. Gabriel Village to help power the common areas and provide a backup energy source in case of a power interruption.

Though buyers are primarily active retired or semi-retired people who are not overly concerned about costs, the technology will lower the maintenance fee to about 26 cents a square foot. "That is about one-third of the cost of comparable projects or communities in the downtown area," Mr. Baghai says.

Along with energy-saving LED lighting, green roofs and individual metering of suites to discourage energy waste, the developers want to gain certification by LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), one of North America's most recognized rating systems for green buildings.

Okay, the article is still the usual sales-oriented crap, but it is still interesting to see a development that makes at effort at being at least a little green, and uses this as a selling point.

The truth is, these are luxury condos, and the green features include items such as "a combo toilet/bidet with a seat warmer and programmable water temperature". But, perhaps this might still be the beginning of a change.


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