Toronto Condo Profile: Aspen Ridge building with a VU to LEED certification
Good planning is key to creating this unique condominium community
From New Homes & Condos Magazine
When construction begins at VU, Peter Szlichta doesn’t want any surprises. As Director of Construction for Aspen Ridge’s exciting Old Town Toronto neighbourhood, it’s Szlichta’s job to make sure that everything runs smoothly, and that’s no easy feat when you’re building a project of this size on a relatively tight lot.
Encompassing an entire city block, VU will stretch along Adelaide from Jarvis to George, and north to Richmond. The prime location means that the two buildings – rising 15- and 24-storeys, with an eight-storey podium connecting them – will offer spectacular views of the city and easy access to some of Toronto’s most popular shops, galleries, restaurants, and clubs, as well as the fabulous St. Lawrence Market.
According to Szlichta, VU‘s exceptional location presents a whole new set of construction challenges, but the project is a true testament to good planning. Realizing that long-term construction in such a busy area can have adverse effects on traffic and local businesses, Aspen Ridge will bring in not one, but three cranes to expedite the process. Although having three cranes on-site at all times may caused some logistical headaches, the move is expected to shave ten months off construction time.
The cranes will do the majority of their work, about 90%, on the east side of the project along George Street since lifting and swinging heavy objects over the busy Adelaide and Jarvis intersection poses too high a risk to traffic and pedestrians.
Once construction is in full swing, there will be over 200 trades people on-site at any given time to handle this massive undertaking, which includes 21 terraces as opposed to the normal six or so that are a part of more traditional condo towers. The additional terraces mean more transfer beams and slabs used and very little repetition in the building process since each transition from one floor to another will be different.
Construction will be staggered, starting with the North Tower and working towards George Street so that construction activities don’t end up being boxed in. The South Tower will be the final stage of construction.
“This all has to be carefully planned,” says Szlichta. “There can’t be any surprises.”
Construction at VU is being closely watched by local residents, government and other Toronto condo builders. As one of just a handful of LEED Canada projects in the city, VU is seeking a higher level of standard for the LEED building process. Aspen Ridge feels the consumer is better educated on matters concerning the environment and in turn is prepared to accept the long term benefits from the costs associated with the LEED program.
LEED Canada recognizes leading-edge buildings that incorporate design, construction, and operational practices that combine healthy, high-quality and high-performance advantages with reduced environmental impacts. They provide a voluntary, consensus-based, market-responsive set of criteria that evaluate project performance from a whole-building, whole-life perspective, providing a common understanding for what constitutes a green building in the Canadian context.
Points are earned in five principal LEED categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality. Based on the total number of points earned, a project can be awarded Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum ratings.
As part of their goal of obtaining LEED certification, Aspen Ridge must follow very strict guidelines, focusing on energy conservation, during the construction process. These include managing the flow and disposal of rain water, washing the truck tires on site to keep dust down, and an on-site recycling program managed by a LEED-certified waste management company.
By buying in a LEED certified building, environmentally conscious purchasers are assured of superior building performance with reduced energy consumption.
This forward thinking project is just one more example of how Aspen Ridge’s dedication to customer satisfaction has made them a leader in Toronto condo construction for over 50 years.
New Homes & Condos Magazine is an excellent source of housing information for those looking for information on new condos in Ontario, Canada. We offer the most up-to-date information on new communities across the Greater Toronto Area.
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