191 & 201 Sherbourne St.
Epic Investment Services led a major revitalization of two “Tower in the Park” apartment buildings in Toronto, resulting in improved living for residents and asset longevity for investor.
How do you undertake a major retrofit of an aging multifamily rental building while it is fully occupied? Epic and the project team of 191 & 201 Sherbourne St. did just that with the two “Tower in the Park” buildings to reposition them for competition in the new purpose-built-high-rise market.
Project Commencement: March 2020
Project Completion: Spring 2023
191 and 201 Sherbourne Street is a two-tower apartment complex located in the heart of downtown Toronto. Epic was involved with the acquisition of the two towers on behalf of an institutional client and managed the asset.
191 and 201 Sherbourne St. were typical “Tower in the Park” buildings, which was reflective of brutalist residential architecture based on cast in place concrete.
After many years, the building had visible signs of aging, safety concerns and non-energy efficient qualities. Rather than a standard cosmetic restoration, a deep retrofit including building systems upgrade/replacement and, exterior and interior repairs was required.
However, at the beginning of construction, the pandemic hit which had a significant impact on both building residents as they were at home during the construction and on contractors to complete the project on time.
The overall objective was to improve:
- the value and longevity of the buildings
- the resident experience,
- the environmental performance of the complex consistent with our client’s commitment to greater environmental sustainability.
In the short-term, the goal also became to create as little disruptions to the residents with so many home from school or working from home situations during the pandemic.
Unfortunately, noise and vibration telegraph easily through a concrete building and the team needed to develop a strategy to mitigate the impact as much as possible through better construction technology and improved building amenities.
The project kicked off with an analysis of utility consumption, energy use, and redesigned mechanical systems converting natural gas to electrical, opting for an air-sourced heat pump with optimal energy savings.
Replacement of gas-fired PTAC units with more efficient electrical units are projected to save energy by 22% and reduce GHG emissions by approximately 35%.
To reduce the impact of the exterior concrete and balcony restoration, the team took a unique approach to minimize noise and vibration. Extensive coordination included daily scrum meetings and relocating residents to furnished suites for up to two weeks during renovations.
The reclad of building added insulation improving R-value by 42% resulting in an estimated energy savings of 5.4% and GHG reduction by 6%.
Challenges during the pandemic, such as supply chain disruptions and safety protocols, were met with a robust communication program, ensuring minimal impact on residents. The result aligned sustainability with comfort and safety.
191 & 201 Sherbourne St. are newly renovated rental buildings that have been repositioned to celebrate better living.
The building is targeting to operate with reduced costs and less maintenance. There is a lower energy consumption and carbon footprint, while at the same time, increased resident comfort and satisfaction.
Through this work, the life of the building has been extended another 50 years and most importantly, maintains the city’s much needed rental housing stock.
Notable project upgrades included:
- Exterior Building Improvements: exterior cladding finishes, improving the carbon performance and replacement of balcony railing, providing improved city views for tenants.
- Building System Improvements: replacement of mechanical systems following extensive energy modelling, and new electrical system supporting higher electrical loads
- Interior Unit Improvements: new and more efficient heating and cooling units, more energy efficient windows and doors.
- Updated Common Elements: improved fitness centre and fibre optic internet infrastructure.