As sustainable building has become the preferred (or, occasionally, required) construction method throughout North America, design professionals are turning to insulating concrete forms (ICFs). When comprising the building envelope, these materials provide occupants with a safe, clean, healthy, and comfortable environment in which to live and work. Whether residential multi-family, commercial new construction, school, theatre, healthcare, or retail, ICF structures also help reduce a building’s carbon footprint—their insulation can mean less energy to heat and cool than is needed in structures built with conventional materials.
Brampton, Ont.’s Chapelview has become the country’s first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum affordable housing building. The project is one of only about 17 LEED New Construction (NC) Platinum buildings in Canada. Through the initiative of the Region of Peel and Enermodal Engineering, Chapelview is expected to achieve 50 per cent energy savings and 46 per cent indoor water savings compared with a conventional multi-unit residential building.
In October, Canada will host the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC’s) Greenbuild show for the first time when the event comes to Toronto. Given the country’s burgeoning community of sustainability advocates, it seems fitting there will be a dedicated stream of educational sessions highlighting Canadian projects and strategies. Greenbuild 2011’s theme is “next”—as in, what are the next big leaps for sustainable design? To help ascertain the answer, the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) appointed this author to chair a team to work through a three-stage selection process established by USGBC to evaluate the abstracts.