Concrete and steel are the traditional structural elements of multi-residential and commercial buildings today. The production of each generates significant greenhouse gases; steel production is responsible for around 8% of global carbon dioxide emissions each year, while concrete production results a further 4-8% of such emissions.
In recent years, wood-based replacements for these materials have been developed that are not only renewable, but actually sequester substantial amounts of carbon dioxide. Mass timber is also significantly lighter and quicker to build with than concrete and steel and, for many, has greater aesthetic appeal.
Atria’s first mass timber building is currently in planning and will soon be constructed in downtown Oshawa.
Heating and cooling large buildings typically require vast amounts of electricity and fossil fuels. Reducing the consumption of these resources lowers the building’s ongoing environmental impact, its operating costs and its exposure to energy price volatility.
Ground source heating (geothermal) uses the fairly constant temperature of the earth several metres below grade in concert with a heat pump system to moderate temperature within the building. As a result, other than fossil fuels used to produce electricity to drive the heat pump system, heating and cooling the building produces no greenhouse gases.
Sustainability, though, is not exclusively about energy consumption. Managing our water resources is also critical. For this reason,
Atria uses plumbing fixtures designed to provide greater efficiency, reducing wastewater without compromising comfort.
Waste from building sites also contributes to environmental degradation. After remediating any site to remove environmental
hazards, Atria creates and executes a plan to divert as much waste as possible from landfills, repurposing and reusing materials
wherever possible. A large part of Atria’s Y Lofts project was built using reclaimed materials from the original structure.