Sustainable and Affordable Housing in Downtown Kitchener

Two Story Apartment Conversion

Kitchener, ON

The Working Centre, a community-based non-profit organization, has successfully transformed two upper floors of a historic downtown Kitchener building into twenty-one modern apartment units, providing much-needed affordable housing for immigrant women and single mothers. Originally planned as a four-apartment initiative, the project expanded to include neighbouring structures, resulting in a total of 21 units. This ambitious endeavour revitalized the iconic Bricker Block, unifying multiple historic buildings to support newcomers in the Waterloo Region.

Collaborative efforts among The Working Centre and various organizations yielded remarkable results. Within just two weeks, 30 referrals were received, highlighting the urgent demand for such housing solutions. Buchanan & Hall is proud to have contributed to this significant project.

Central to our sustainability strategy is the implementation of advanced HVAC technology, in this case, featuring water-source heat pumps. These state-of-the-art heat pumps enhance energy efficiency while maintaining resident comfort by utilizing air-to-water technology to regulate the building’s water loop temperature, ensuring consistent heating and cooling throughout the year.

Additionally, the rooftop energy recovery ventilation (ERV) system enhances indoor air quality while minimizing energy consumption through modulated heating and cooling.

Today, residents of this revitalized building enjoy the benefits of sustainable and affordable living in the heart of Kitchener’s vibrant downtown district, thanks to our dedication to geothermal and HVAC excellence.

The building employs a system of four air-to-water heat pumps to regulate a shared loop. This loop supplies water to console heat pumps in each bachelor apartment. In summer, the units cool the loop; in winter, they heat it,  reducing or even eliminating the need for the boiler.

This system allows for thermal energy exchange between apartments, reducing the need for mechanical heating and cooling, and lowering energy consumption and carbon footprint.

YORK®’s dedicated outdoor air system (DOAS) supplies fresh air to the building and serves as a central exhaust for kitchenettes and washrooms in bachelor apartments.

This system uses an energy conservation wheel (ECW) to efficiently transfer energy between exhaust and incoming air, reducing the energy needed to condition fresh air and preserving the building’s historic facade.

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