Harmony Commons Student Residence becomes the largest Passive House certified building in Canada

May 15, 2024

Fengate Asset Management (“Fengate”) and the University of Toronto Scarborough (the “University” or “U of T Scarborough”) are pleased to announce that Harmony Commons Student Residence has achieved Passive House Classic certification. At 24,620 square metres, Harmony Commons is the largest building in Canada to receive Passive House Classic certification. On behalf of our investor, the LiUNA Pension Fund of Central and Eastern Canada (LPFCEC), Fengate partnered with U of T Scarborough to invest in and deliver a state-of-the-art purpose-built campus student residence with 746 beds.

A Passive House building is designed to use less energy for heating and cooling compared to conventional buildings. Passive House is regarded as the industry’s leading voluntary standard for energy-focused design and construction, it stands as the pinnacle of commitment to sustainable building practices. In U of T Scarborough’s Harmony Commons Student Residence, this standard is exhibited in the combination of highly efficient insulation, airtight construction, and carefully designed windows and ventilation systems. In addition to the reduced carbon emissions of building to the Passive House standard, savings in operational costs offset the additional expenses associated with construction.

“Student housing plays a crucial role in bringing individuals from various backgrounds together, enriching their educational experience and preparing them for a globalized world,” said Joseph Mancinelli, International Vice President and Regional Manager for Central and Eastern Canada, LiUNA. “LiUNA is proud to invest in Harmony Commons, the largest Passive House certified building in Canada that delivers sustainable student housing options that match the world-class educational offering of the University.”

“Achieving Passive House certification for Harmony Commons is the embodiment of LiUNA and Fengate’s values of sustainability and community. This achievement is just one of the substantive steps Fengate has taken in putting our commitment towards Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) into action. By placing an emphasis on energy efficiency and longevity, we pave the way for future generations to thrive in environmentally responsible spaces,” said Jaime McKenna, President, Fengate Real Estate.

Fengate and the University entered into a strategic partnership to develop the much-needed student housing residence on the Scarborough campus. The deal involved a debt investment to fund the construction, and an equity take-out to purchase an interest in the project along with a long-term land lease with the University. The University continues to own the land and operate the student residence for its students.

“Sustainability is a key focus for the University of Toronto Scarborough. Harmony Commons is more than an infrastructure project—the impact goes beyond our campus. We’ve showed the industry that this type of project can be done in this market and at this scale. Through Harmony Commons we’ve proven that passive house is an attainable standard for future large-scale developments,” said Andrew Arifuzzaman, Chief Administrative Officer, University of Toronto Scarborough.

The nine-storey Harmony Commons Student Residence welcomed its first students in September 2023 and offers residents a multitude of on-site amenities including an integrated dining hall, common lounge and study space on each floor, outdoor roof garden and terrace, community kitchen, laundry facilities, indoor bicycle storage, and more.

  • overview look of student residence
  • Harmony Commons
  • Harmony Commons Student Housing

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