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U of T Harmony Commons becomes largest Passive House building in Canada

U of T Harmony Commons becomes largest Passive House building in Canada
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO SCARBOROUGH — The new University of Toronto Scarborough student residence has become the largest Passive House certified building in Canada.

TORONTO — At 24,620 square metres, Harmony Commons Student Residence at the University of Toronto Scarborough is the largest building in Canada to receive Passive House Classic certification.

The announcement was made by Fengate Asset Management and the University of Toronto Scarborough recently.

Fengate partnered with U of T Scarborough to invest in and deliver the purpose-built campus student residence with 746 beds.

A Passive House building is designed to use less energy for heating and cooling compared to conventional buildings and is regarded as the industry’s leading voluntary standard for energy-focused design and construction, indicates a release.

In Harmony Commons, the standard is exhibited in the combination of highly efficient insulation, airtight construction and carefully designed windows and ventilation systems. In addition to the reduced carbon emissions of building to the Passive House standard, savings in operational costs offset the additional expenses associated with construction.

The nine-storey student residence welcomed its first students in September 2023 and offers a variety of amenities including an integrated dining hall, common lounge and study space on each floor, outdoor roof garden and terrace, community kitchen, laundry facilities and indoor bicycle storage.

“Harmony Commons is more than an infrastructure project — the impact goes beyond our campus,” said Andrew Arifuzzaman, CAO of the University of Toronto Scarborough, in a statement. “We’ve showed the industry that this type of project can be done in this market and at this scale. Through Harmony Commons we’ve proven that passive house is an attainable standard for future large-scale developments.”

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