Construction is in its early stages for the new Podium Developments apartment building on Princess Street in the Williamsville district of Kingston.
Podium’s managing director says it has taken about 10 years for the 10-story building to get to this point.
“There are 344 units, but many of them are very small units, studios and a bedroom that are needed in the community,” said Bernard Luttmer.
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At 10 stories, it is similar to much of the development along the Williamsville Corridor, with one exception. It will be the first apartment building in Kingston to use geothermal technology.
Nastassja Person, Development Manager at Podium Developments, explains how geothermal technology works.
“In the winter, you’re taking heat from the ground and putting it into the space inside the building,” Person said, “and in the summer you’re taking the heat out of the air-conditioned building and returning the heat to the ground.”
It is made with perforations or horizontal pipes in the ground and pumps to move the air.
Warren Mabee, director of the Queen’s Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy, says: “The advantage of going underground is that the temperatures are much more stable, so in the middle of winter it is warmer underground than on the surface. In midsummer, it’s cooler underground. “
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Podium estimates that geothermal energy will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 70 percent.
“You have to anticipate that the cost of things like natural gas is going to go up. We have certainly seen spikes this year around the world in natural gas prices. We know that carbon prices are being applied, so the equation for the use of these fossil fuels changes, ”says Mabee.
Kingston’s mayor says the project raises the bar for future development.
“This is the future. This is what we want to see built in Kingston, so being able to have a partnership now and being able to see these buildings built with a lower carbon footprint is exciting. “
The building is expected to be ready for occupancy in about three years.
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