The 16 storey – 191 unit apartment building at 301 Prudential Drive in Toronto is the first strata owned multi-unit residential (MURB) condominium building in Canada to achieve Investor Ready Energy Efficiency (IREE) certification, based on the Investor Confidence Project (ICP) framework. The ICP framework provides a standardized approach to project origination and development and can support more effective building retrofit project financing.
MURBs represent a key building sector for jurisdictions like Toronto that are striving to increase overall retrofit activity and infrastructure renewal. With increased retrofit implementation activity, significant reductions and savings in energy and water use are attainable, and will help contribute to overall climate mitigation and affordability goals.
Annual savings of $70,000 (18%) in utility costs.
Reduce energy consumption by over 2,100 gigajoules (enough power for 18 single family homes annually in ON)
Reduce annual emissions footprint by 90 tonnes of CO2e (10%)
Project loan repaid through utility cost savings within 12 years.
In collaboration with strata owners and property management and in accordance with IREE certification requirements, EDESCO Inc. in partnership with Finn Projects assessed the energy, water, and GHG emissions savings potential from specific retrofit measures, developed an implementation and monitoring plan, and secured buy-in from all stakeholders.
Heating, ventilation and air-conditioning upgrades and improvements
Building automation system upgrades
Water fixture replacements
Through its turnkey design-build solutions for reducing energy and water costs, and its energy performance contracts, EDESCO provides up to 100 per cent of the retrofit capital costs as well as a performance guarantee. Part of the upgrades at 301 Prudential Drive include real-time utility metering, to monitor the building’s performance and ensure that planned savings are achieved. Through project development and delivery methods, such as those employed by EDESCO, greater levels of retrofit activity and infrastructure renewal can be implemented across Canada.
The Prudential Drive retrofit project was financed by Vancity Community Investment Bank (VCIB), a subsidiary of Vancity Credit Union and Canada’s first values-driven bank. The bank’s clean energy division focuses on financing distributed clean energy and energy efficiency projects including deep building retrofits, a segment of the market that is underserved by mainstream commercial finance.
As part of their financing approval process, VCIB is piloting the completion of IREE certification as an alternative to completing an independent engineering review. VCIB is interested in exploring the opportunity to use the certification as part of their retrofit project loan review and approval process. According to Jonathan Frank, VCIB’s Director of Clean Energy Business Development, IREE certification’s attraction is its market-scaling potential.
Completing effective building energy reduction projects represents one of the most affordable ways to cut national greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Such projects also hold the most potential for energy savings and could unlock billions of dollars in economic opportunity. There are various reasons that these opportunities are not being realized, and market barriers that impede the development and implementation of projects, including relatively large capital fund requirements, the overall retrofit market capacity, and a lack of industry standardization.
To address some market barriers and support the development of more energy efficiency retrofits, the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) and Green Business Certification Inc. Canada (GBCI Canada) launched the ICP framework and the IREE certification in Canada.
Projects that achieve IREE certification complete an independent third-party due-diligence review in five key project development and implementation areas – shown below. Achieving IREE certification recognizes projects for following best practices due diligence, helps increase the reliability of anticipated energy savings, and provides greater project assurance for all stakeholders. Through reduced investment risk and increased standardization, the ICP framework and its IREE certification is poised to support the further development of an effective and robust retrofit economy in Canada.
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