Wood-constructed 12-Storey Condo Development Promises an Increase in Sustainable Building Practices and a Boost to the Canadian Economy
Recently, government officials representing the Ministry of Natural Resources, attended the capping ceremony for the cutting edge condo development, Origine, in Quebec City's Pointe-aux-Lièvres eco-district. Origine is the tallest wood-constructed condominium in North America consisting of a 12-storey wood structure on top of a one-storey concrete podium. The use of Canadian wood as the primary building material for Origine, makes this 41 metre tall condominium development a leader in sustainable building practices and a global representative for the Canadian lumber industry.
Origine has been built with cross-laminated timber sourced directly from Canada. This material is just as strong as traditional tall building construction materials and yet, it is much more eco-friendly. Studies consistently show that when it comes to construction and building, wood is much better for the environment than steel and concrete in terms of embodied energy, air and water pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions.
Not only is Origine a great example of sustainable tall building development and construction practices, but it also helps promote Canada's lumber industry to the world at large, which will potentially sustain hundreds of thousands of jobs in communities across our country. This kind of global press for the Canadian lumber industry is incredibly needed given the recent announcements by the U.S. Department of Commerce to place unfair and punitive duties on Canadian softwood lumber imports. This development with our neighbor to the south might very easily have a large impact on the Canadian lumber industry and the lives of the thousands of Canadians who work in the Canadian lumber sector.
The Origine condo development received over $1.2 million dollars in funding through Natural Resources Canada's Tall Wood Building Demonstration Initiative. The funding was received as part of an initiative to help expand markets for Canadian wood products. By encouraging the use of wood in construction in mid-rise and high-rise buildings in Canada, the government hopes to increase global awareness and usage of Canadian wood products, leading to an increase in profitability in the Canadian lumber sector.
This year, the Canadian Government pledged an additional $40 million dollars to help increase the use of Canadian wood in Canadian building and development projects. For the condo industry, this will lead to further tall wood building developments, better training and education for practitioners designing wood buildings, continued support for code changes to ensure a level playing field for wood in high-rise construction, and more eco-friendly condo options.
The Canadian condo industry has heeded government initiatives that prize environmental sustainability and encourage economic growth. Choosing to support such important interests speaks to why Canada’s condo sector is so well respected around the globe. If you are in the market to buy a condo in Canada, take a look at the condo developments around you and find one that is making decisions that are environmentally and socially conscious. This way, when you do buy a condo, you will not only get the home of your dreams but you also get the opportunity to support globally conscious initiatives that make a difference in the lives of people.
Lara Watson is a journalist and real estate aficionado living in Toronto.