Canada’s biggest cities need a construction adjustment if they wish to be kinder to the environment. Right now, Toronto’s apartment buildings contribute to half of the city’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Montreal and Vancouver are much like Toronto in terms of architecture, putting them at risk as well.
Of course, Toronto still comes out on top in the skyscraper count, accounting for three of every ten domiciles. Surprisingly, highrise buildings give off fewer harmful gases than traditional houses do, so the solution isn’t a simple one.
London, Vancouver, Montreal, and Quebec City all have more apartment buildings than individual houses, and while that number continues to grow, skyscraper designers are slowly moving towards an emissions-free approach. Canada’s federal government would like this plan to be achieved by 2030 with a $182 million minimum.
Toronto is already on the right track, having decreased their greenhouse gas emissions by almost a quarter since the nineties. But these environmental gains aren’t the result of fixing the construction of dwellings, and the city will fail to meet its 2050 goal of an 8.7 million ton reduction unless buildings are dealt with soon, seeing as building worldwide create 17% of the country’s emissions.
In the future, it will be extremely important for builders to think long and hard about how heating and ventilation is put together, and to avoid carbon lock-in, a design that allows the building to release carbon until the feature is adjusted. One possible solution is to create an aeration system for an area with a handful of dwellings, heating and cooling several buildings simultaneously.
Big Canadian cities need effective remedies fast if they wish to prevent inflicting more harm on the country and the earth itself. Putting goals into place and analyzing feasible solutions is a solid starting point.