London

'First in Canada' sustainable apartments get federal funding boost

The federal government is giving a London developer almost $4-million for an environmentally-friendly highrise project. The cash infusion was announced Tuesday morning by London West MP Kate Young, at the Sifton Properties' West 5 development.

The highrise will be 77 per cent more efficient than other similar buildings

The newest addition to the West 5 sustainable community is a high-rise. (Kate Dubinski/CBC News)

The federal government is giving a London developer almost $4-million for an environmentally-friendly highrise project.

The cash infusion was announced Tuesday morning by London West MP Kate Young, at the Sifton Properties' West 5 development. 

The 12-storey building is part of Sifton's groundbreaking energy-efficient neighbourhood, located in London's far south-west corner. 

"This is a first for Canada: a net-energy apartment building that will actually produce as much energy as it expends. It really is the way of the future," Young said at the announcement. 

The federal government announced it was giving Sifton Properties $3.9 million toward its net-zero high rise project. (Kate Dubinski/CBC News)

The building is the country's first mixed-use, multi-unit residential high rise net-zero energy building. It's designed and constructed to produce at least as much energy as it consumes every year. It will be wrapped in solar panels. 

The building will have 154 units and include a parking garage that will also be covered in solar panels, said Sifton President and CEO Richard Sifton. 

Retirement living coming next

"As a community, we will be producing as much energy as the buildings use. You can't do it on a unit by unit basis or a building by building basis, because office buildings use a different profile than a residential building and a residential building is different from retail. We can balance all those out," Sifton said. 

"In the town houses we've already built, we're able to overproduce (energy) so when you come to this office building which under-produces, we can share the energy back and forth and be net-zero."

The Sierra Club Canada challenges the Trudeau family to make the renovation of 24 Sussex Drive into an exemplary low-carbon energy retro-fit. 5:04

The $4 million from the federal government will allow the apartment building to be 77 per cent more efficient than other similar buildings built under the Ontario Building Code.

Without federal money, it would have been 50 per cent more efficient than other similar buildings built under the Ontario Building Code, Sifton said. 

The apartment building will be ready for occupancy in 2020, he added. 

The West 5 development is also looking to include a retirement residence and retirement apartment building, plus office buildings, retail shops, condos and green space. 

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