ALC Launches Pilot Project to Conserve Water

Avenue Living Communities is launching a pilot project to conserve water in 1,000 rental suites in Calgary and southern Alberta.

Neal Shannon, Senior Vice President, Capital Projects and Procurement, says the organization is looking at three utilities for sustainability and environmental savings. The top priority is water.

“We’re changing to high-efficiency fixtures,” says Shannon. “That includes a low-flow showerhead and a low-flow toilet. We’re also replacing the aerators on the vanity faucet and the kitchen faucet.”

“We’re starting with 500 suites between Red Deer and Calgary,” says Mark Nixdorf, Senior Vice President of Residential Operations. “The second allotment of 500 will be across southern Alberta – in Brooks, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat.”

Once the desired result for reduced water consumption is achieved, the plan is to expand the initiative across the portfolio. Avenue Living projects up to a 20 per cent reduction in water usage.

Avenue Living Asset Management has aggressively and ambitiously built a portfolio of more than 8,500 residential rental units across Western Canada in just 13 years. The Calgary-based company’s journey began in 2006 with the purchase of 24 rental units in Brooks, Alberta for $3 Million.

Nixdorf says the eco-conscious pilot project is scheduled to be completed by the end of the third quarter.

“We’re such a large organization with such a large footprint across the Prairies, it’s a meaningful way to have an impact,” says Nixdorf. “And by offering this to our residents, they can be a part of the solution, helping to reduce harm to the environment.”

If you’ve heard that low-flow faucets and toilets offer reduced effectiveness, think again.

 “We’ve been careful in selecting the models and the products,” says Shannon, who was involved with sourcing the fixtures every step of the way. “These are very high in quality.”

Avenue Living is also embarking on other environmentally-friendly initiatives. The company is investigating a switch to LED light bulbs in its buildings, as well as the installation of timers and sensors.

“On the electricity project we expect to save about 20 to 25 per cent in use.”

Another initiative will be high-efficiency boiler retrofits.

“We’re looking at piloting our first project in Calgary with one of our two downtown buildings. We’ll replace it with newer equipment which is typically seen as 85 to 95 high efficiency,” explains Shannon.

“On the boiler project, the gas and heating, we expect to save about 30 to 35 per cent in consumption.”