230 Sackville

230 Sackville

This building uses less energy, emits fewer greenhouse gases, preserves natural resources, reduces waste and increases the well​ b​eing of occupants and visitors as compared to typical buildings because it implements LEED ® best practices related to:

  1. ​​Energy​
  2. Indoor environment quality​
  3. Materials and waste​
  4. Sustainable sites​
  5. Water efficiency​


Our energy use

Our building systems are designed to help reduce energy use. We monitor energy use, and based on an energy model of the building’s design, we are expecting to use almost 44% less energy than a similar building that simply meets building code requirements.


In the common areas, we have selected high efficiency lighting fixtures, and have selected lighting levels that are safe, but not excessive, to reduce energy use. A good example of this​ is in the parking area, where the amount of energy we use per square foot is significantly less than a standard parking garage.

District energy

The building is connected to a district energy plant that provides hot and cold water for heating, cooling and domestic hot water. The district energy plant, located at 252 Sackville, heats and cools large quantities of water which it distributes through pipes to several buildings in the Regent Park community. Over 30 years, the plant is expected to save 400,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases. The system helps save energy because the boilers and chillers are larger, more efficient models than if they each served an individual building.

There are 3 centrifugal chillers to cool water and 3 boilers to heat water, one of which is a high efficiency condensing boiler. Water is heated (winter) or cooled (summer) by the boilers and the chillers. It is then pumped through pipes into the building and on to the main air handling units to maintain temperature in corridors, offices and residential common spaces, and to fan coil units in each suite. In both cases, a fan blows air over the pipe containing the heated (winter) or cooled (summer) water, which then heats or cools the air. This is how temperature is maintained in the building.

Building automation system

There is a special computer, called the building automation system, that tracks the temperatures of the outdoor and indoor air, and decides how best to use the equipment to provide comfortable conditions. The building automation system also receives feedback from the CO2 sensors for the amenity spaces to provide the right amount of fresh air to keep the indoor environment healthy.

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2.Indoor environment quality​


Each suite has a heat recovery ventilator (HRV), which uses room-temperature exhaust air from the bathroom to pre-heat fresh air coming in from the outside in the winter or pre-cool in the summer. The energy is exchanged between the two air streams, but they do not mix directly, because they are in different ducts.

Daylight and views of the outdoors

This building has been designed to maximize daylight and views of the outdoors. The lobby has windows which provide large amounts of light. This design strategy has a big impact on the amount of energy used for lighting and comfort levels.

This building has been designed so that you can see outside from over 90% of regularly used spaces. Letting in the daylight also means that we don’t need as much artificial lighting, which keeps our energy use low.

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3.Materials and ​waste​

​​Responsible building material selection

At 230 Sackville Street, over 15% of the materials used in construction were recycled from another material. By using recycled materials, we reduced the need for extraction and processing. For example, the steel rebar used at this building is up to 92% recycled and the concrete structure contains up to 64% recycled content.

In addition to selecting materials with recycled content, we also sourced locally-produced materials to reduce the impacts of transporting materials. Whenever possible, construction materials such as steel and drywall were sourced from suppliers within 800 kilometers of this building. Over 30% of the materials in this building came from within this distance.

Responsible waste management

During construction, we diverted about 890 metric tons, or 91 percent of the site’s total construction waste, from landfills. This waste was sorted and sent to appropriate recycling facilities for proper disposal or reuse.

To help residents reduce their contributions to landfill, we have provided separate chutes for garbage, recycling and organics. This is not a requirement from the city for high-rise residential buildings but is a great opportunity to improve the personal waste diversion rate. By separating recyclables and organic waste from landfill waste, we are reducing the amount of waste we send to landfills every day.

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4.Sustainable sites​

Plant selection

Typical plantings can require a lot of water and fertilizers to grow. We have tried to minimize that impact by selecting native and hardy plant species. The plants we’ve selected need very little maintenance, and the ones on the roof don’t even need to be watered. By choosing plants that are well-suited to our climate, we don’t have to put a lot of water and energy into creating an environment that the plants would prefer.

Here is a list of plants used at the building and their level of water consumption.​
Botanical NameCommon NameWater Requirement
Evergreen Sedum Mix​ 
Sedum reflexum 'Blue Spruce'Blue Spruce SedumLow
Sedum reflexum​​ 'Green Spruce'​Green Spruce SedumAverage
Sedum sexangulareWatch Chain StonecropAverage
Sedum spurium 'Green Mantle'Green Mantle SedumLow
Sedum 'Weihenstephaner Gold'Weihenstephaner Gold' SedumLow
Sedum hybridum 'Immergrunchen'Immergrunchen SedumLow
Shade Tolerant Sedum Mix
Sedum reflexum 'Green Spruce'Green Spruce SedumAverage
Sedum sexangulareWatch Chain StonecropAverage
Sedum spurium 'Green Mantle'Green Mantle SedumLow
Sedum 'Weihenstephaner Gold'Weihenstephaner Gold' SedumLow
Sedum hybridum 'Immergrunchen'Immergrunchen SedumLow
Sedum ternatumTernatum SedumLow
Sedum hybrid Spurium 'album superbum'Album Superbum SedumLow
Calamagrostis acutiflora 'Karl Foerster'Feather Reed GrassAverage

A green top

In urban areas like Toronto, the abundance of dark surfaces (rooftops and parking lots) and the lack of green space causes a rise in outdoor temperature, resulting in more energy used for air conditioning. This is known as the heat island effect. It means that, in summer, daytime temperatures are typically higher in urban centres than in surrounding suburban or rural areas.

At 230 Sackville, over 50% of the roof area is Green Roof or Roof Top Garden. Most of this green roof is on the roof above the 10th floor. There are also community gardens on the 9th floor. These “Green Tops” help keep the surrounding environment cool by reducing the heat island effect. The Green Roof is also planted with native plants and does not require any irrigation.

An electric future​​

There are four electric vehicle charging stalls for plug-in hybrids and fully electric vehicles.

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5.Water ​efficiency​

Using less water

We have selected low flow plumbing fixtures. Our building’s efficient and innovative washroom fixtures use approximately 50% less water than a typical building’s fixtures.
Fixture TypeOur Flush/Flow RateTypical Building's Flush/Flow RateSavings
Toilet3 litres per flush (low) 6 litres per flush (high)6 litres per flush33% less water
Faucets​​1.9 litres per minute​​9.5 litres per minute80% less water
Showers​​5.7 litres per minute9.5 litres per minute40% less water
We have estimated that this reduces our water consumption by about 8,500,000 litres per year. This is equivalent to approximately 30,000 bathtubs, every year.​​

​Using rainwater

​In addition to low-flow plumbing fixtures, we’re also using alternatives to drinking water wherever it makes sense. The building collects rainwater from the roof and stores it in a storage tank.

This stored rainwater is then pumped back up when needed to irrigate the courtyard plants as well as the street level planters. Not only does this further reduce our drinking water use, it also reduces the impact on the City of Toronto’s storm water system by reducing the volume of water it needs to contend with during heavy rainfall. The cistern holds enough water to fill about 250 bathtubs. That may seem large, but we need the size so that we can store enough water during the rainy times of the year to meet our irrigation needs during the dry times of the year.

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If you would like more information about Toronto Community Housing's commitment to sustainable building practices, please read about the ways we are building for sustainability.​​