Soaring Hexagonal Toronto Residential Tower Designed for Energy Efficiency

passive solar
(Image: Studio Gang’s design for residential tower One Delisle in Toronto. Rendering by Norm Li)

Designs for a 263-unit hexagonal residential tower in Toronto call for a façade that provides passive solar cooling and heating. The unusual design comes from architectural firm Studio Gang for real estate investment firm Slate Asset Management’s property.

The building, known as One Delisle, will be located at an important transit node and anchor a full-block development, according to Studio Gang.

“Its distinctive façade comprises a series of eight-story elements, which nest together as they spiral up the building,” the firm says. “Balconies are set within these elements, with generous terraces set atop them. Leaning outward for sun-shading and wind protection, they permit use of the balconies and terraces well into the shoulder seasons.”

Reporting on a recent packed community meeting for the proposed mixed-use residential tower, Urban Toronto’s Julian Mirabelli wrote that Jeanne Gang shared details about the plans. “Roughly 40 – 60% of the building’s facades will be opaque, allowing for better insulation and a more energy-efficient building,” Mirabelli wrote. “Other aspects such as bird-friendly glazing and renewable energy sources are being explored.”

Gang’s team is pursuing Tier 2 of the Toronto Green Standard for the 48-story building, she added.

Currently in the design phase, the building is anticipated to have a 2023 completion date. Slate will be submitting the project to Toronto’s City Planning department for approval soon, Building Design and Construction Magazine reported.

The US Department of Energy lists passive solar design as a way to take advantage of a building’s site, climate, and materials to minimize energy use. “A well-designed passive solar home first reduces heating and cooling loads through energy-efficiency strategies and then meets those reduced loads in whole or part with solar energy,” the DOE’s site says.

Despite the benefits, passive solar design doesn’t always top the list of practices for new construction. Last year, a survey of single-family residence builders in the US by the National Association of Home Builders found that only 8% had used passive solar design for homes they had built during the previous year.

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Slate Asset Management

Studio Gang

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