This rent-geared-to-income residential project, at the corner of Dundas and Sackville Streets, addresses the needs of two important groups within the Regent Park community: families with children, and the elderly.
An eight-storey mid-rise building houses 75 family units, including two-storey townhouse units at grade, while an adjacent 22- storey tower contains 150 units for senior individuals and couples. The buildings are linked by a two-storey podium programmed with retail space, indoor amenity space for families and rooftop outdoor amenity space for the elderly. Indoor amenities for seniors are situated on the 8th floor of the tower.
As the template for the redevelopment of the Regent Park community, the Sackville-Dundas Apartments fulfill the following objectives of the Regent Park redevelopment, and the City of Toronto Official Plan:
accommodate diverse housing types;
articulate a convincing and urbane response to density;
enrich the public realm; and
integrate a broad range of sustainable design strategies
Among the most innovative of these green design strategies is the integration of a heating and cooling co-generation plant that, once fully built-out, will serve the entire 70-acre Regent Park redevelopment area.
The project has qualified for LEED Gold certification.
Aesthetics – The Sackville-Dundas Apartments have introduced a new building type to Regent Park which erases the distinction between affordable and market housing. Two conventional, as-of-right building types a point tower and mid-rise apartment are combined with a raised garden court. Street and building frontages are lined with community facilities and grade-related townhouses. Elevator lobbies are visible and accessible from adjacent public streets, ensuring eyes on the street.
Extensive glazing creates a sense of openness and transparency for all entrances and common facilities at street level. The clear expression of the garden court and ground-related units on Cole Street create a finely-scaled domesticity, underscored by the masonry cladding that ties the buildings together from grade to the sixth floor. Above, the mandated setback on the family building is expressed as a simple glass and spandrel top which folds down into the garden court. The seniors building is separated from the base by its inset terrace level, and rises as an elegant glass tower, allowing its residents to live quietly and independently. Seniors amenity space is raised above the street while families have direct access to outdoor play areas, creating a very social environment and at the same time, allowing privacy between the two resident groups.
Innovation – The success of market housing at Regent Park and thus the success of the redevelopment project as a whole rested on the degree to which the Sackville-Dundas Apartments were able to erase the stigma associated with affordable housing. The Apartments have met this challenge and have provided a built form and design vocabulary for all future development at Regent Park. The raised garden court and roof gardens, landscaped outdoor spaces, and grade-related retail and community spaces give the Sackville-Dundas Apartments a degree of amenity typically associated with market housing, and establish the basis for a truly mixed income, integrated community.
Sustainable design features incorporated in the Apartments reduce energy and water use. In turn, this reduces net operating costs, improving TCHCs bottom line and in turn, the Corporations opportunities to launch future affordable housing projects.
Water Conservation – This tight, urban site is occupied almost entirely by the building offering little opportunity for the creation of an ecosystem. However, Sackville-Dundas incorporates a containerized roof planting system that covers 982.5 m2, equalling 52 of the 1,880 m2 roof area, and a stormwater cistern sized to meet all landscape irrigation requirements and provide stormwater retention. The green roof will also minimize heat build up during summer.
New plantings of indigenous trees and shrubs are irrigated by an Atlantis system of underground permeable containers linked to roof drains, to capture and reuse stormwater. Permeable pavers were used to allow for additional stormwater collection.
Run-off and stormwater retention is achieved with the Atlantis system a series of underground permeable containers, linked in series which are placed near the tree root balls and connected to the roof drains. Fixtures and appliances were specially selected in order to reduce water consumption.
Light and Air – Occupied spaces are located around the perimeter of narrow floorplates, maximizing daylight to all units. Balconies provide natural shading and reduce thermal gain.
Each unit has operable windows and direct/continuous ventilation to the exterior. In addition, a centralized heat exchanger in the mechanical penthouse delivers make-up air directly to units, allowing for 60-75 increased energy efficiency, resulting in energy savings of 42. Airtight suite design reduces air movement between suites and reduces energy consumption. In addition, the building envelope is airtight, with balconies acting as thermal bridging. The projected annual energy consumption will be 119 kwh/m2.
Energy Efficiencies – The new Regent Park Community Energy System CES will provide clean, reliable and competitively-priced heating, cooling and hot water to all buildings in Regent Park, via insulated underground pipes linked to boilers and chillers in the base of the seniors tower. Each year, the CES will provide up to five megawatts of energy, and reduce Regent Parks emission of greenhouse gases by 8,000 tonnes.
Other sustainable strategies include:
stormwater management: plantings cover 52 of roof, irrigated via cisterns; land-scaping irrigated via underground permeable containers linked to roof drains; permeable pavers reduce run-off
narrow floorplates and operable windows maximize daylight and fresh air circulation; balconies are placed to promote sunshading/reduced thermal gain
centralized heat exchanger delivers make-up air directly to units, increasing energy efficiency by 60-75 , and energy savings by 42
50 glazing; customized window wall system provides increased thermal comfort
centralized enthalpy exchange ventilators recover heat from kitchen and bathroom exhaust to pre-heat incoming ventilation air
residential units are individually metered for water and electricity
building materials sourced locally, to emphasize low embodied energy and emissivity
on-site AutoShare; 87-space bike parking; project located on TTC streetcar line
Materials and Resources – Through LEED-certifiable demolition and construction practices, 75 of demolition materials were recycled, a 20.5 construction value. In its revitalization, all of the building materials brick, concrete, wood, drywall, aluminum, glass were sourced locally and could be recycled for future use.
Life-Cycle Efficiencies – The Apartments have been designed to perform over a 50-year life cycle. This is made possible through the combination of a durable concrete building structure and locally-sourced, easily maintained and highly recyclable building materials and finishes. Modular unit design is the basis of highly flexible floor plans that can be reconfigured to accommodate changing housing requirements as the communitys demographic changes over time.