Minto’s latest condo a geoexchange first

Monday, March 15, 2021

Minto Communities GTA will debut its first multi-residential geoexchange energy system with the launch of North Oak condo, the fourth phase of the Oakvillage community, in Oakville, Ontario.

Geothermal technology is picking up steam in the high-rise residential industry. It reduces carbon emissions and shields residents from rising utility costs through the harnessing of renewable ground source energy. Resident comfort is also enhanced. Because the geoexchange system provides year-round heating and cooling, there is no system “switchover” between seasons.

The system is designed so that future towers of the Oakvillage community can also be connected, creating a community energy system aligned with goals set out in the Town of Oakville’s Community Energy Plan.

“It is a very proud moment for Minto Communities GTA to launch North Oak, which also marks our first project that will offer community energy through a geoexchange system that significantly reduces carbon emissions and enhances the value provided to our residents,” said Roya Khaleeli, director of sustainability and innovation, Minto Communities GTA.

“Oakville is a really special town, and our site is surrounded by so much natural beauty that there was no question North Oak’s design would create seamless connections to the outdoors and push the envelope on sustainability.

North Oak will rise to 20 storeys and 207 units, located at Trafalgar Road. and Dundas Street East. Starting at mid $400,000, suites will offer one-bedrooms, lofts, two-bedrooms, two-bedrooms and dens.

Social connections and biophilic design

Architect BDP Quadrangle designed a vertical tower juxtaposed with horizontal massing, set back from the street to be pedestrian friendly. The façade utilizes articulation, metal accents, and precast brick to provide tactility to the project, creating a line that reflects the neighbouring developments and respects the surrounding low-rise community.

The condo will also feature BDP Quadrangle’s Neighbourhood Nest concept. A double-height ceiling atrium will connect the lobbies of North Oak and its sister building. Designed to be a social space where residents can meet and socialize, the Neighbourhood Nest also serves as a resilient feature with a back-up power connection, communications system, and critical goods refrigeration for use during emergencies.

Director of Innovation at BDP Quadrangle Michelle Xuereb said sustainability and resiliency were top-of-mind.

“As we’ve seen in the last year, there will always be times of unpredictability, where community members will need access to deeper support,” she said. “The Neighbourhood Nest is our response to this human need. It’s a flexible space which will be used every day casually, but it’s also there and ready to serve during times of turbulence.”

Expansive glass walls will border the Neighbourhood Nest to showcase the surrounding amenity program. There will be two party rooms including one which extends onto an outdoor terrace with pergola, barbecues and seating overlooking the pond, a fitness centre, pet wash, bike repair and wash, and a coworking space lounge. Outside, a 1.5 kilometre multi-use trail will weave throughout as a way of bumping up resident connections.

Inside North Oak, an expansive planter filled with native species on the ground floor will greet residents as they enter the lobby, surrounded by raised seating. The two-storey glass walls connect residents to the abundant green spaces on the exterior, showcasing Athabasca Pond.

Interiors by Figure3 use calming light tones and natural materials. A variety of palettes include indigo and champagne accent options. The design is elevated by an emphasis on hardware, and large floor-to-ceiling windows. Every suite gives residents a balcony or terrace, continuing to extend the connection to outdoor living.

North Oak will be located on the north portion of the Oakvillage master-planned community, which is connected to nearly 300 kilometres of woodland trails. Once completed, Oakvillage will offer a mix of traditional, back-to-back and rear lane townhomes and condos.

New roads leading into the community will prioritize and maximize pedestrian comfort, using decorative paving to slow down passing cars, while a new bicycle path will run along Trafalgar Road.

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