Delmanor Aurora building the first of its kind in Canada

With its design, amenities and services, Tridel’s Delmanor Aurora retirement community has been on the receiving end of many plaudits since it first opened last year, but last week it was recognized for something that isn’t obvious to the naked eye yet something that will have a lasting impact.

On January 18, Federal Minister of Seniors Kamal Khera was on hand to congratulate Delmanor and Tridel as their Aurora location became the first multi-family building in Canada to receive Energy Star Multifamily Certification.

The accolade came from EnerQuality, which certifies efficient housing in Canada while leading green building programs.

“We are so proud to celebrate the innovation and the teamwork that it takes to get to this milestone,” said Ener Star President & CEO Monica Curtis. “Energy Star provides a path for builders to create comfortable, energy-efficient homes, support municipal building standards and environmental goals, and contribute to carbon emission reduction for all of us. For the residents living in this building, this provides a simple, recognizable seal of approval. The Energy Star multifamily plaque on the wall assures families and residents that the building is well-built, giving them a comfortable home. For the building owner and operator, it offers third-party verification that the building is at least 15 per cent above building code because it will have lower operating costs year after year.

“For the local government, the building standard offers a low-cost compliance pack third party verification means the building has undergone independent performance testing. This provides information that can demonstrate municipal compliance and it can help the stretched building inspector workforce. For all of us, lower energy use contributes to lower carbon emissions. This supports environmental, social and government’s goals, reporting for investors, contributes to emission-reduction targets for local, provincial and federal governments and, over time, it will reduce the impact of buildings as the third largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada.”

Tridel’s Adam Fineman noted that this recognition was “an important initial step” in reducing their carbon footprint while providing the best service to residents.

“The innovative technology implemented at Delmanor Aurora will allow for increased comfort due to more efficient heating and cooling systems, improved indoor air quality due to ventilation requirements, and personalized lighting levels designed for wellness,” he said. “For in-suite energy efficiency, residents also benefit from the Energy Star certified appliances, water efficient fixtures and the lighting, which was designed for both power and control.”

Speaking on behalf of the Federal Government, Minister Khera said “buildings are so much more than just four walls and a roof.” In addition to offering shelter, comfort, safety, community, a place to enjoy a well-earned retirement and “continue a dignified and active life,” she said buildings account for 13 per cent of “Canada’s direct greenhouse gas emissions,” or, in short, the third biggest source of emissions.

“As climate change continues to impact communities across Canada, it is putting more pressure on our buildings to provide the heating, cooling and structural integrity needed to shield people from a changing climate,” she said. “We need to see more and more buildings like this as we work to achieve our climate goals and enhance the wellbeing of seniors and all Canadians across the country. I could not be happier that the first multi-family building to reach this milestone is one that is for seniors. Seniors have worked extremely hard throughout their years to support their families and build strong communities that we live in today. As a government, we also know the critical role that seniors play in our communities, which is why over the last seven years we have been there supporting seniors every single step of the way.”

Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill MP Leah Taylor Roy reiterated this pride, particularly with Delmanor Aurora being in her riding.

“We are at a pivotal time right now because the impacts of climate change [are] increasing the need to move more quickly, and we also have challenges in our economy,” she said. “But as you have demonstrated at Tridel, those can be combined, we can work together to build new homes that have a better operating cost over the long-term and are really efficient, as well as providing a better space for everyone to live in…. It is going to use less energy, be more comfortable, and be healthier for the residents and the environment. As far as I’m concerned, that’s win-win-win.”

Mayor Tom Mrakas noted the commitment demonstrated by Delmanor Aurora and its partners “closely aligns” with the Town’s commitment to green initiatives, including sustainable urban development.

“We’re working hard to implement measures such as LEED gold certified design features at Town-owned facilities and increasingly we’re employing more low-impact development techniques during construction,” he said. “We’re also implementing sustainable housing practices to reduce waste, working to electrify our entire fleet, and encouraging residents to take part in the stewardship of our environment through initiatives like our anti-idling campaign. But we know that the actions of government are only one piece of building sustainability and climate resiliency in our communities. That’s why Delmanor really is a shining example of how our partners in the development community are critical to helping us reach our climate goals.”

Mayor Mrakas also came with an extra bit of good news for residents, announcing the Town is working with the Region of York to install traffic lights at the intersection of Yonge Street and Butternut Ridge Trail at which Delmanor is a landmark.

Brock Weir, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Auroran