StreetSide Developments’ The District Transforms Warehousing into Energy-Efficient Condos
Winnipeg, MB – StreetSide Developments’ recently completed District condos
project in Winnipeg’s historic East Exchange District offers a blend of old and
new, showcasing original materials along with modern energy-efficient features.
The four-building conversion project, one of the largest completed in Western Canada to date, includes nearly 150 residential suites and two commercial condominiums, ranging from 545 to over 1,000 sq. ft.
Paul Gray, Project Manager at StreetSide Developments, noted that the energy-efficient features selected for the conversion project were chosen based on Manitoba Hydro’s Commercial Building Envelope Program.
“Manitoba Hydro was offering incentives for windows and roofing on renovation projects at the time of construction,” said Paul. “Both the windows and roofing system were selected to meet or exceed Power Smart requirements. Adding triple-pane windows and a well-insulated roof system were the most significant energy efficiency improvements made in the conversion.”
Triple-pane windows offer several benefits over double-pane windows, such as more gas fill for higher energy-efficiency performance (20 per cent better energy rating than double-pane windows), increased soundproofing, reduced condensation on glass, and better overall comfort when sitting near the windows.
Two of the buildings have an EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) roofing system (a synthetic rubber roofing membrane), while the other two feature a modified bitumen roofing system (asphalt reinforced with fibreglass or polyester fibre matting), both of which are popular choices for flat roofs. These well-insulated roofing systems help to provide a warmer, more comfortable building in the winter and a cooler building in the summer.
According to Paul, making the decision to include the energy-efficient features made sense due to the nature of the conversion project.
“Heating and cooling a home in our climate can be expensive,” said Paul. “The existing masonry wall systems of these buildings provide lower R-values than you would find at our new builds, so we wanted to minimize both heat gain and loss using the windows and roof systems in order to reduce temperature transfer and help insulate the condos. Having a properly insulated roof and high-quality windows provided our owners with lower energy bills for both the common areas and the suites.”
Besides including the energy-efficient features, Paul said every effort was made to ensure the conversion project preserved as much of the buildings’ original features as possible, to add to the sustainable approach.
“Having a solid structure was a great place to start,” said Paul. “Being able to reuse a lot of the existing elements in ways to add to the appeal of the buildings was number one from a sustainability standpoint. Honouring the buildings’ century-old character with their beautiful exposed brick and original timber ceilings and beams was very important to us, and this remained the star of the show among the modern additions."
Original elements, such as safes, vaults, and an existing freight elevator, were kept and incorporated into the buildings. Modern elements, such as sleek finishes and stainless steel appliances, can be found in all of the suites, and amenities, like exercise rooms, stylish lounge areas and large storage lockers, add to the buildings’ appeal.
Two of the buildings also have common and private rooftop terraces, offering views of downtown Winnipeg from spaces that successfully combine the city’s colourful past and eco-conscious present.
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