When faced with having to dig up the pavement in our parking areas at Parkway Park to replace broken underground wiring, we pivoted to install solar lights and were able to keep our paved lots intact, minimize disruption to our residents, and bring a renewable source into our energy mix. Due to this successful test project, we expanded installation to the Forest Ridge properties.
With the help of our partner, MicroHabitat, we turned an unused portion of our roof at Appartements VIE in Montreal into a thriving urban garden, helping to reconnect people to nature. The 300-pound seasonal harvest was donated on a weekly basis to our community partner, Chez Doris, to support their daily meal program.
We added a micro cogeneration unit to our Ottawa community, LIV, which produces heat and electrical power simultaneously through high efficiency heat and power generation. At LIV, this translates to a 17% offset in electrical consumption from the grid and a 20% reduction in domestic hot water production from boilers, leading to $25,000 in annual savings.
We are currently testing this at communities in Montreal, Ottawa, and Burlington to solve the problem of package deliveries piling up in lobbies. Through this system, parcel couriers are provided with timed access to a secure package/lockers room and residents are notified electronically that a package is waiting for pick-up, thus providing a convenient, secure and organized package delivery system for our resident base.
We partnered with Enbridge Gas to install building automation system (BAS) upgrades at our Lakeshore Club community in Burlington. The project generates 38,200m3 in annual natural gas savings, a 40% reduction from pre-project levels, leading to cost savings and enhanced building operational control for our
facilities team, while ensuring continued resident comfort.
We installed this well to tap into ground water for our lawn irrigation and to water plants and flowers around the community rather than pulling from the municipal water supply. The project generates financial savings of about $15,000 each year and we estimate annual water savings of 2,670m3 – the equivalent of one Olympic sized swimming pool.
We partnered with Enbridge Gas to install building automation system (BAS) upgrades at five of our communities in Stoney Creek. The project generates over 41,700 m3 in annual natural gas savings, an 18% reduction from pre-project levels, and has reduced at least 79,000 kg of CO2. This initiative has led to cost savings and enhanced building operational control for our facilities team, while ensuring continued resident comfort.
In 2021, we launched a partnership with car sharing company, Communauto, to offer dedicated parking spaces at five of our Montreal communities. This initiative gives our residents, employees, and neighbourhood Communauto members access to a fleet of hundreds of vehicles at their doorstep, which can be reserved up to a month in advance. Carsharing reduces the number of vehicles on the road, which decreases traffic congestion and CO2 emissions, and means less space required for parking and more opportunity for urban green spaces.
We have been gradually incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) into our building systems upgrades. Through practical experimentation on a weekly point-by-point basis, we have tested how different AI aspects respond, and we are now finalizing a template design to see how we can incorporate our learnings across all properties. We expect the full roll-out to be implemented by the beginning of next heating season, 2022/2023, allowing us to have better prediction and an even faster response time to changing weather conditions and fluctuating thermal loads of the building.
The four boilers at our community at 100 Main St. East in Hamilton originally used 8 million BTUs to heat the building. After analyzing four years of historical heating data, we replaced them with high efficiency boilers and adjusted controller settings to absolute levels with added sensors and eliminated 2 million BTUs of unnecessary consumption. The project reduced ongoing maintenance requirements and GHG emissions and has resulted in over $8,500 of natural gas savings per year while still keeping residents cozy in -25o weather.
In 2021, we installed 11 EarthBins® across five GTA communities. These waste containers are installed partially below the surface, which reduces pests and odours, increases the amount of waste to be stored and reduces the frequency of overall pickups and related CO2 emissions. This creative solution allows for a more aesthetic and compact design, which leads to optimization on the grounds and frees up space for other uses such as increased resident parking. EarthBin® containers are also recognized by crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED), which safeguards users and prevents illegal activity and dumping.
* In 2020, energy consumption reflects data for which InterRent received and paid bills and excluded any resident accounts that were separately metered. In 2021, data coverage improved as we moved closer toward collecting whole-building data.
1 In 2020, emissions reflect data for which InterRent received and paid bills and excluded any resident accounts that were separately metered. In 2021, data coverage improved as we moved closer toward collecting whole-building data.