M5V: The First LEED Registered Sales Office

salescentre.jpg LEED registered Condos are getting pretty common, but this is the first time we have heard of someone going to the trouble and expense of registering a sales office- One would think that the building would come down before the paperwork is done. Nonetheless, TAS, the developers of Toronto's new M5V (half of a postal code) condo are going for it. In the sales centre green features include energy efficient and water-conserving appliances, roof water collection for irrigation of the green landscaping at the sales centre, a permeable paving system, which absorbs rain water instead of letting it flow to storm sewers, and an efficient heat-recovery ventilation system. The building is demountable and has dry-laid floors that can be lifted and re-used. M5V.jpg

The building is going for LEED as well, and has low emission flooring, dual flush toilets, heat recovery ventilators for fresh air (a big step forward from the traditional pressurized corridor as source of makeup air) and rooftop rainwater retrieval. They even give purchasers membership in Autoshare.

This is all wonderful but we do sometimes wonder about whether developers are serious about LEED or using it as a marketing ploy. After all, the copy clearly says:

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but the building is not on the list of Canadian LEED certified buildings and couldn't be, because it has to be finished to be certified. (down at the bottom it says "LEED registered") The copy for the sales centre says :
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In one screen shot we have a building that is "eligible", "registered" and "certified" and I am confused. What is it? (It appears that it is registered.)

We do wonder about LEED sometimes. A "High efficiency glass curtain wall" is listed as a sustainable feature; Sure, it is better than a low efficiency curtain wall but a wall that is 100% glass is never going to be as good as an insulated solid wall. And "6' deep private terraces provide natural shading, keeping suites cool to conserve energy"? this is Canada, it is cold much of the year, and those terraces act as giant radiator fins, sucking heat out of the building. We would love to see a comparison of whether they are a net energy gain or loser.

In the end I can't tell if it is green or greenwashing. Maybe it is just lousy website writing that makes a registered building certified. Maybe it is the radiator fin balconies being listed as a green feature. Maybe the CaGBC should control its registered trademark more carefully. Maybe I can register my tent for LEED, but what counts is what level certification I achieve at the end of a lengthy and expensive process that I may or may not actually get around to. ::M5V via ::The Star

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