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Project Design

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Project Design

Building form

The schematic design, or massing plan, for the project adds 21 new units to Phoenix Place. Ten will be located in a 3 and 4 storey addition along the north and west faces of the building, These will include 4 bachelors, 2 two bedroom and 4 one bedroom units.

The new units will be accessible by stairs from street level, and from within the existing building. The ground floor of the addition under the new units will contain a new laundry, amenity spaces, and church entrance. The old laundry room on the 11th floor will be converted into an additional bachelor apartment.

Another 10 bachelor units were created within Shalom House, an existing 3 storey brick building immediately east of the apartment building. The overall unit mix for the 21 new units is: 15 bachelor, 4 one-bedroom, and 2 two-bedroom.

The setback of the addition is stepped back from the corner of King and Dunn to match the setbacks of residential properties along King Street to the east. The roof line also descends from 4 storey to 3 towards the east to meet the level of the adjoining houses.

For a look at the schematic plan (or massing plan), click here.

The table below outlines Green Phoenix's key sustainability features. These features form an integrated design whose parts work together. For example, increasing building insulation & window quality reduces the size of the heating and cooling system. Adding green roofs, heat recovery, and a solar wall have a similar effect. Energy savings noted are in 2006 dollars.

Key Features

fan coil

Hydronic heating and cooling to replace electric baseboard heating. Existing units were fitted with flat plate radiators for space heating in the winter and for temperature moderation New units have fan-coils to deliver the heating and cooling. The hydronic system draws heating and cooling energy from a cascading set of energy sources including ground source heat pumps, solar thermal energy, gas boilers, and energy-recovery ventilation.

  • increased comfort -- especially in summer.
  • Reduced electricity use
  • Eliminate window air conditioners.

Geothermal factoid

Ground source (geo-thermal) energy. The heart of the energy systems is an array of 13 geothermal wells beneath the site's exterior parking lot. The well field is relatively small for site, but its design takes into account improvements to the building envelope, energy-recovery ventilation, and the use of large buffer tanks to store thermal energy in off-peak periods.

  • More than 120 tonnes lower CO2 emissions.

solar wall

Solar wall. The unshaded south-facing wall of the apartment tower is an ideal solar collector location. An array of EnerworksTM panels provides from 25% to 30% of the building's annual domestic hot water energy. The solar wall preheats city water entering the buildiing on its way to the heat pump system. Solar energy displaces heat that the geo-thermal plant and gas boilers would otherwise provide.

  • Reduced use of natural gas: more than 20 tonnes lower CO2 emissios


Exterior Insulation and Finish System [EIFS]. This stucco and insulation system triples the building's wall R values, and reduces the building's heating and cooling losses while improving comfort
The EIFS is applied over the original 6" clay brick wall, and consists of:

  • a air/vapour barrier
  • 4" of RoxulTM mineral wool insulation
  • galvanized mexh
  • 3-coat field-applied stucco system
The exterior walls also carry new exhaust ducts connected to each suite, and heating/cooling distirbution pipes.
  • Increased comfort.
  • Exterior wall treatment to cover aging bricks and mortar.
  • Energy savings.

East elevation

High performance windows. Double-glazed fibreglass windows with low-E coatings and argon gas that keep out extreme summer heat and keep in winter warmth. Each of the bachelor aparments has one large window unit, shown at left. 

  • Increased comfort, especially in summer heat waves


New fresh air supply and exhaust to all units using enthalpy energy recovery technology.The heart of this system is a rooftop unit fed by new exhaust collection ducts from each apartment -- see the elevation photo above left. Return air (100% fresh) makes its way into each unit via existing hallway makeup air ducts. Each apartment's air is totally changed approximately every 45 minutes.

Enthalpy systems significantly reduce the energy needed for hydronic heating and cooling while improving indoor air quality and temperatures.

  • More than 90 tonnes lower CO2 emissions.
  • 24-hour-a-day air exchange.
High efficiency gas boilers have replaced the tower's aging atmospheric units. The new boilers are fully-modulating units intended to provide peak demand energy for domestic hot water and winter heating.
  • Increased efficiency and faster system recovery.
Building Automation System (BAS) technology coordinates the functions of the heat pumps, boilers, solar wall and ventilation systems. The system also provides temperature and other logs that help gauge system performance and troubleshoot problems before they get out of hand. Staff can monitor and control the building systems on site or remotely via the internet through a user-friendly program that resides on one of the office computers.
  • .


Energy-efficient lighting retrofits. These changes have replaced the building's remaining incandescant fixtures with compact fluorescents, and upgrades to the common area fluorescent hallway lighting.

  • Estimated greenhouse gas reduction: 12 tonnes.
  • Energy savings: $3,400 /year.
  • Cost: $31,600.
  • Payback: 9.3 yrs.


Use of non-toxic, non-emitting and where possible non-synthetic finishes and materials throughout.

Copyright 2016 by the Parkdale United Church Foundation.