HPAC Magazine

Toronto announces the eight buildings in its Deep Retrofit Challenge

May 3, 2023 | By HPAC Magazine

Grants of up to $500,000 will be awarded to each of the buildings to support deeper-than-planned energy retrofits, and once complete, the city will develop and publicly release comprehensive case studies on completion of the retrofits.

The City of Toronto has named the eight buildings that will be participating in its Deep Retrofit Challenge (DRC), a competition-style program with up to $5 million in investment from Natural Resources Canada provided through its Green Infrastructure – Energy Efficient Buildings Program.

Through the Challenge, grants of up to $500,000 will be awarded to each of the buildings, seven of which are privately-owned, to support deeper-than-planned energy retrofits.

The grants will offset the incremental design and construction costs required to achieve maximum greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions.

Participating buildings:

• 350 Bay St. (Dream Office REIT)
• 723 Bloor St. W. (Dream Unlimited)
• 88 College St. (The Governing Council of the University of Toronto)
• 1-15 Field Sparroway and 2-10 Tree Sparroway (Toronto Community Housing)
• 633 Northcliffe Blvd. (Northcliffe Inc.)
• 177 St. George St. (Dream Unlimited)
• 145 Woodward Ave. (145 Woodward Ave. Inc.)
• 61 Yorkville Ave. (Minto Apartment Limited Partnership)

Launched in 2022, the Deep Retrofit Challenge aims to accelerate emissions reductions from buildings in Toronto and identify pathways to net zero carbon that can be replicated in other buildings across the city.

The retrofits will advance the goals of the City’s TransformTO Net Zero Climate Action Strategy, including the target to reduce community-wide emissions to net zero by 2040, and serve as a catalyst to accelerate deep energy retrofits in support of the City’s Net Zero Existing Buildings Strategy.

Participants in the Deep Retrofit Challenge are now finalizing their designs, a process that includes an integrated design workshop, energy modelling, the final selection of energy conservation measures and payback calculations.

To remain eligible for funding, participants must deliver a final design to the city that verifies that their proposed projects will meet all program requirements, including:

• Minimum 50% reduction in the building’s GHG emissions
• Minimum 50% reduction in total energy use intensity
• Payback period of 20 years or less

Retrofits will be completed by early 2025.

Once complete, the city will develop and publicly release comprehensive case studies on completion of the retrofits, including the retrofit designs, utility savings, project costs and lessons learned.

The city received 14 applications for the Challenge (between August 26 to October 31, 2022) and accepted 11 conditionally, with the final eight building owners now fully committed.

Deep Retrofit Challenge




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