Original Article Source: durhamregion.com
CLARINGTON — While winter does its worst, residents of Brookhouse Gate, the first Clarington condominium to have a geothermal heating and cooling system, are living comfortably and conserving energy.
The 21 Brookhouse Drive condo building is a leader in using the energy saving geo-thermal technology in the historic Village of Newcastle. The geothermal system uses pipes buried deep in the ground underneath the building, using the fact that deep underground temperatures don’t fluctuate as much as above ground. At this time of year, liquid flowing through the pipes extracts heat from the ground. In the summer the process is reversed with hot indoor air being removed, the heat pumped into the liquid in the pipes, run through the ground and cooled.
The technology reduces Brookhouse Gate condo’s dependence on fossil fuels and the overall carbon footprint of the building. This system is both environmentally and financially beneficial in the long term. It reduces the emission of 100 tons of carbon a year — equivalent to taking 25 cars off the road — and saves 2 million litres of water a year, explained Tim Weber, from Diverso Energy, which installed the geothermal system.
“They’ve built the building of the future. This building is going to be standard in 10 years. They’re building a building of tomorrow, today,” said Weber.
Geothermal technology also eliminates the need for a large cooling tower on the roof, and it produces continuous hot water for Brookhouse Gate. Each suite owner has full control over the temperature of their condo. Each condo is individually metered, so snowbirds who are away for the winter can enjoy the cost savings.
The new Georgian-inspired condominium design has settled in well, becoming a landmark in the eastern part of Newcastle. The first residents moved into Brookhouse Gate in September, and there are still a few units available for sale. The interior of the building is 98 per cent finished, and, outside, the landscaping — featuring a patio, garden and walking paths — will be done when weather permits in the spring.
“How do you take a four-storey building and drop it into a historical downtown, and have it fit?,” said Michael Williamson, project manager from Gay Co. Ltd. for the condo building.
The building features a concrete and steel construction — a soundproofing and fire-safety feature — and there are sprinklers throughout the condos and a large emergency generator. There is underground parking, a pet spa-dog bath room and a basement party room with a skylight, full kitchen and games.
Inside the condos — ranging in size from 1,180 to 1,400 square feet — are open and welcoming, with large windows, private balconies, ensuite laundry and stainless steel kitchen appliances.
“When they come home to their new condo, they’re in a place of relaxation,” said Williamson. “We wanted people to feel like they were coming home to a beautiful condo and almost a resort feel.”