How to Prepare Your Condo Board for Toronto’s 2040 Net Zero Deadline

How to Prepare Your Condo Board for Toronto's 2040 Net Zero Deadline

Share this post!

Toronto’s 2040 Net Zero deadline calls for retrofit strategies that go beyond traditional cost- benefit calculations. Here we look at how to prepare for the deadline by making smarter retrofit
choices that help set the groundwork for sustainability.

Consider Larger Retrofits

Your board needs to focus on larger scale retrofits. Before undertaking any one project, step back to consider how you can deliver more bang for your buck. This new mindset allows you to
find opportunities for overarching projects that address more aspects of the building in creative, insightful ways. While this is a challenging task, it is possible to align retrofit projects to expand
your reach to deliver more value and improve building sustainability.

Adopt a Holistic Approach

One of the most effective ways to embrace larger retrofits is taking a holistic approach. For example, considering things such as amortization calculations helps determine how changes
impact overall building sustainability. However, by also looking for possible added values associated with sustainability such as suite comfort or improved climate resilience you can
identify further reaching improvements. You can then evaluate investment costs based on how they impact sustainability in the long-term, to determine where you’ll see the most long-term
added value.

You must consider the following three areas when taking the holistic approach:

  1. Building: What changes can help maintain building functionality and usability such as energy efficient doors and flooring in access routes, or renewal of shared amenities such
    as energy efficient appliances in laundry rooms?
  2. Envelope: What measures must be taken to improve the thermal building envelope, and which improvements can add more value, such as cladding to make the building more
    attractive, sun shading devices to improve energy efficiency and make balconies more enjoyable, or new windows to improve energy efficiency and keep suites more
  3. Services: What changes can be made to services including HVAC, power supply, plumbing, security/fire protection, lighting, elevators to bring you closer to a net-zero
    carbon building?

Introduce Step Wise Retrofits

The step wise retrofit helps manage reserve fund allotments. For example, when a major retrofit such as a window replacement is anticipated, the pre-design stage could reveal the need for
exterior wall rehabilitation. This impacts the scope of work and the money available in the reserve fund which can lead to special assessments.

However, using the step wise approach, your board includes the wall work in the plan, but introduces the work in a series of budget-friendly steps. This approach sees each step realize
increasingly impressive performance benefits. As a result, costs are offset by energy savings, cost structure becomes more flexible, and the work slowly integrates effective project
management to help maintain reserve fund health.

Seek Out Less Conventional Funding

Finding new systems to help improve energy efficiency can present unseen opportunities, as well as unseen cost challenges. For example, sister condos located at 120 Lombard and 115
Richmond St. in Toronto is Canada’s first condo to install an air-to-water heat pump. Instead of replacing a chiller like-for-like, the board approved upgrading to a heat pump. The heat pump
provides cooling in the summer and helps offset heating capacity from their gas-fired boiler in the winter. Although the project came with additional costs such as upgrading electrical
connections and adding structural support on the roof to accommodate a second unit, financial support from The Atmospheric Fund (TAF) helped offset those costs.

TAF offers free services and funding support to multi-unit residential building owners targeting emissions reduction of 40% or more. Services include project management, measurement
verification, and follow-up with access to the expertise you need to make informed decisions.

Although 2040 seems too far away to impact today’s decisions, when you consider the requirement for a 30-year plan outlining future needs, it really isn’t that unreasonable.

The condo experts at CPO Management Inc, a full-service property management company in Toronto and the GTA, have had tremendous success helping condo corporations address the
challenges of sustainability through effective reserve fund planning . Reach out to us today to learn how we can help.

Share this post!