Because these condos power themselves
The new generation of high rise residences have energy-generating walls and windows
The production of concrete, steel and glass—the building blocks of Toronto’s skyscrapers—emit a dizzying amount of greenhouse gases. But a slate of ingenious local companies like Alectric, Mitrex and Internat Energy Solutions are helping the city’s buildings become a bit greener. They’re making solar panels out of everything—shingles, shades, windows—designing them so sneakily that you’d never suspect they’re busy saving the planet. At the Beech House condos in the Upper Beaches, photovoltaic awnings displace 1.2 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions by generating 90,000 kWh of electricity every year, more than enough to power a dozen homes. The Aquabella condos on Queens Quay East are wrapped in power-producing cladding, helping offset the energy that the building sucks from the grid. And there are plans to use this tech at a seniors’ residence in North York and a condo sales centre in Brampton. Building-integrated photovoltaics, as these systems are known in industry lingo, may not be widespread yet, but they’re a glimpse of a future where structures sustain themselves.