Q Lofts: Small things make a huge difference for LEED Platinum status
An entry mat impacts LEED Platinum status? Really?
Every aspect of Q Lofts’ design minimizes environmental impact. Building materials and techniques were chosen with a close eye to environmental impact on long-term durability.
While many are familiar with the ‘big ticket’ items — ICF (insulated concrete form system exterior walls), triple-glazed windows, heat pumps and insulation numbers like R29 — you’ll find a slew of seemingly smaller touches that will contribute in a big way to this new Halifax condo obtaining its LEED Platinum status.
The little things
From the first day Q Lofts began, construction waste was separated properly and recycled. You’ll also find many other products containing recycled materials being used throughout the building: from the in-suite flooring, kitchen cabinets, millwork and insulation to the exterior cladding.
Low-VOC paints and flooring were chosen and formaldehyde-free materials were used for trim and cabinetry. Minimizing these types of emitting materials indoors, as well as a building envelope that minimizes pollutants entering from outdoors, makes for excellent air quality.
Sensors have been installed on all doors and windows to automatically shut off the in-floor heating/cooling system when opened. This ensures no energy is wasted “heating the outdoors” as your mother used to say.
The landscape designers were charged with choosing plants and trees that would require little-to-no irrigation. When it came to plant the grass, a special drought-resistant strain was hand-seeded. This quick video explains what it means from an environmental perspective.
And yes, even the mat in the front door vestibule was thoughtfully chosen. Known as a ‘walk-off mat’, it helps keep outdoor pollutants (dirt, dust, grit) out of Q Lofts. Doing so improves the lifespan of the flooring as there are fewer abrasives brought in.
Going for Platinum
The steps necessary to meet the requirements in all eight categories of the LEED Canada program are stringent and a third-party, independent review and verification process ensures there is no green-washing being done at Q Lofts. That’s why you’ll find that only between one and three multi-unit residential buildings qualify in all of Canada for the prestigious LEED Platinum designation in any given year. Looking after all the little things makes a big difference, and the positive effects of paying attention like that will be felt for years to come.