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Case study

Concert Properties

GHG Reductions Targets

  • 20% by 2020

GHG Reduction Highlights

  • Construction Site Waste Diversion
  • All new rental construction = LEED Gold

Actual Reductions

  • Waste reduction (2010-12): 535 tonnes CO2e

Concert has been developing and managing real estate for almost 25 years: rental apartments, condominium homes, retirement communities and commercial properties. Concert is involved in development, construction, sales and leasing, property management and ultimately customer service. Over the past three years Concert has worked with Climate Smart to inventory their greenhouse gas emissions and work towards a 20% reduction by 2020.

As a showcase, they have implemented a number of changes at 1190 Hornby Street, the office building that serves as their headquarters. A film applied to all windows reduces solar heat gain, helping to improve occupant comfort and reduce the energy needed to cool the building in summertime. Additionally, the boilers and chillers in their HVAC system were changed over to high-efficiency models. Adding direct digital control technology to their HVAC system allows the building operator to monitor and adjust energy performance throughout the building in real time. This combination of initiatives has reduced their electricity use at 1190 Hornby by 25%; likewise, their natural gas consumption has decreased by 50%.

All new Concert rental developments target LEED Gold or equivalent environmental construction standards. An example is their new Axis rental development currently underway at the University of British Columbia: Concert is aiming for a Gold rating under the UBC-specific Residential Environmental Assessment Program (REAP). One of the requirements of these programs is the diversion and recycling of construction waste, which includes wood, metal, cardboard, plastics, and drywall. Concert has set a goal of 75% waste diverted from landfill at Axis. They have engaged their trade subcontractors to ensure everyone involved in the project understands how their actions affect Concert’s sustainability goals. By placing the responsibility of diversion on their subtrades, and monitoring waste diversion throughout the project, Concert has achieved 82% diversion from landfill on the Axis construction site.

With many different properties and many facets of their business where change could be achieved, it was important to engage staff from across the organization. The creation of a dedicated Sustainability Manager position, to act as a resource for different projects and departments across the organization, highlights the degree to which sustainability is embedded at Concert.

Working with Climate Smart has helped draw the link between operational expenses and carbon/energy performance, and has catalyzed the development of internal systems for data management. For instance, gathering building energy data from across their portfolio, Concert now monitors energy use per square metre, and can identify particular properties on which to focus their efficiency efforts. Concert sees an additional benefit in the collaborative Climate Smart network of like-minded businesses, of which they are now a member. Knowledge-sharing with other companies yields strategies that they can implement within Concert’s own operations.

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