One Planet Living: Redefining Real Estate with Windmill Developments

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Windmill Developments’s award-winning community, The Plant © Courtesy of Windmill Developments

“Windmill Developments was founded in 2003 with the belief that real estate development was ripe for innovation, that it offered the ideal opportunity to make a big impact in the fight against climate change. We still believe this today, but we’ve evolved our thinking. We’re not simply aiming to do better. We’re aiming for One Planet Living—creating happy, healthy communities that thrive within the resources of our planet.” — Jeremy Reeds, President

Windmill Developments is a visionary real estate company aimed at transforming the way we build. Windmill uses the One Planet Living framework to co-create communities where people can live happy, healthy lives within the finite resources of our planet. One Planet Living applies 10 principles to ensure that developments plan for, track, measure, and report on the triple bottom line: social, financial and environmental impact.

Right from the start, sustainability was baked into Windmill’s DNA. The first Windmill project, Victoria’s ground-breaking Dockside Green, laid the foundation to transform the real estate development industry. Dockside Green was certified as Canada’s first LEED Platinum for community development. Since then, Windmill has continued to innovate and push sustainability boundaries in everything they do. Their latest project, Courcelette, recently received the Ontario Embodied Carbon Award for its low embodied carbon design achievements, demonstrating that good design can have a positive impact on both people and the planet.

Courcelette is an eight-storey condominium in the vibrant Upper Beaches area of Toronto’s East End. Designed as a low-carbon development, it features a high-performance building envelope and a geothermal system for heating and cooling. The building encourages active transportation with a dedicated bike entrance, repair/wash station, and one bike parking space per unit. The building will also have electric vehicle chargers and infrastructure, anticipating and encouraging the transition to a low-carbon economy.

When complete, Courcelette will use 42 per cent less energy and emit 65 per cent less annual greenhouse gas emissions than a conventional building. Residents of this sustainable community will enjoy a design that encourages an active and healthy lifestyle, with units promoting good health and well-being. From compartmentalization (making sure there isn’t air leakage in the building or noise pollution) to materials (non-toxic and sustainably sourced) to appliances (energy efficient), every element of Courcelette’s design ensures the highest levels of health, comfort, and sustainability.

windmill developments
© Courtesy of Windmill Developments

With Courcelette well under construction, Windmill is already making further strides in pursuing low-carbon, high-quality, sustainable development. Several projects in their pipeline (in both Toronto and Ottawa) will utilize modular cross-laminated timber (CLT), a renewable alternative to concrete that results in less embodied carbon (through material) and less operational carbon (through an expedited construction timeline). Living in a home manufactured out of CLT offers many benefits to the resident, including a healthier indoor environment, excellent thermal performance and insulation, and reduced energy consumption. Unlocking the potential of CLT as a renewable building material is helping Windmill deliver healthy, attractive buildings that significantly improve people’s lives while simultaneously creating healthier and more sustainable cities.

Windmill’s innovative project pipeline is part of the One Planet Living Fund, an impact real estate investment vehicle delivering environmental, social and market financial returns. The fund, a partnership with Epic Investment Services, is the first private Canadian, mixed-use opportunistic real estate development impact fund designed to accelerate the implementation of impact investing principles while generating market returns for investors. With a pipeline that includes different impact priorities, from low-carbon modular CLT to affordable housing, the One Planet Living Fund is proving that real estate can deliver not only compelling investor returns but also impact.

To learn more about how Windmill is developing happy, healthy communities that thrive within the resources of our planet, visit windmilldevelopments.com

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Founded in 2003, Windmill is a visionary real estate company focused on creating happy, healthy communities within the resources of our planet.

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