New Oakville development community to debut a multi-residential geoexchange energy system

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Published March 18, 2021 at 3:27 pm

A new development located at Trafalgar Rd. and Dundas St. E will be doing its part to reduce carbon emissions in Oakville.

The fourth phase of the master-planned Oakvillage community and the first of two towers designed by developer Minto Communities GTA, North Oak will debut a multi-residential geoexchange energy system offered alongside a wellness-enhancing design and amenities.

An increasingly important solution to supporting sustainability, particularly for high-rise buildings, the Geoexchange energy system reduces carbon emissions by as much as 70 per cent.

This marks the developer’s first project that will offer community energy through a geoexchange system and fits in with the Town of Oakville’s commitment to long-term energy planning.

“This incoming geoexchange energy system will dramatically reduce the carbon footprint at North Oak, plus this highly efficient energy system will keep utility costs low, making it easy for residents to live a low-carbon lifestyle with no impacts to how their suite is operated,” said Roya Khaleeli, Director of Sustainability and Innovation at Minto Communities.

While they have long been used in Nordic countries as alternative energy sources, geoexchange energy systems in Canada have been   primarily used to boost the performance of single-family homes.

Relying on pipes dug 600-feet underground, the Geoexchange energy system works by using the Earth’s underground temperatures to provide heating or cooling in a more efficient manner year-round, reducing the amount of fossil fuels needed and protecting residents from rising utility costs.

It’s also been designed so future towers in the Oakvillage community can be connected, thus creating an energy system that will align with the goals set out by the Town of Oakville’s Community Energy Plan.

“The Town of Oakville is committed to long-term energy planning and we’re very excited to be part of the ongoing transformation of this wonderful community,” Khaleeli said.

North Oak and the Oakvillage community set out to prioritize pedestrian experiences by improving active transportation options and walkability.

With connectivity a key cornerstone of the development, a scenic, 1.5 km multi-use trail is woven through the North Oak site and the Oakvillage community will be connected to nearly 300 km of woodland trails in North Oakville.

Aiming for a larger sense of community as well as to amenities and green spaces.

“North Oak is located in an area that’s already surrounded by so much natural beauty which inspired our design for the project heavily,” Khaleeli said of the 20-storey building with 207 units. “Our goal was to incorporate nature throughout the tower using biophilic design and creating seamless connections to the many neighbouring green spaces and parks.”

There’s a natural channel to the east of the tower and the Athabasca pond to the north of the tower.

“We enhanced these elements with outdoor planting beds of native species, with transparent glass throughout the podium level to help bring the outdoors in, and by thoughtfully planning amenities to offer views of the pond,” Khaleeli added.

Oakvillage will include a mix of traditional, back-to-back and rear lane townhouses and condominiums and is connected to retail and restaurants, as well as public transit and access to major highways including the 407, 403 and QEW.

“The Oakvillage community is designed to be pedestrian-friendly and make active living simple, and we’re excited for residents to take advantage of the abundant trails and green spaces offered in Oakville.”

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