Green Condos: Pipe Dream or Way of the Future?

Words like 'sustainable', 'green', and 'eco-(fill-in-the-blank)' have been so overused by the media, politicians, and special interest groups alike that they really have lost their meaning. But one area where meaning is starting to take shape is in, of all places, real estate. And this is happening in, of all cities, Toronto.

Our homes are energy hogs, but they don't have to be. We have the technology and the products at our disposal to alleviate the strain that our houses and condos are placing on the environment. The question remains, are we willing to pay for it?

Several Toronto developers including Tridel are adopting some pretty cool technology into their projects that has even got The New York Times' attention. They're betting that consumers, or at least a significant sub-section of them, are willing to pay a premium to live in a way that reduces our impact on the earth.

At Doors Open, Tridel's Eco-Suite was one of the most-frequented sites of the weekend, attracting thousands of visitors. Certainly the public interest in green living is there, but will we ever see a mass-scale condo project in Toronto that has these Eco-friendly products and technology not as an option, but as standard?

The reality is, living green still costs a lot more than living, er, non-green. Until green products and technologies can benefit from the economies of scale of mass-production, or unless there is a massive shift in the realities of the real estate market in Toronto, green condos and homes will likely only be an option for a select few.

Photo by from the blogTO Flickr pool.

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