May 21st marked Entuitive’s third annual CityVision Event, and this year’s topic proved to be one of the most thought-provoking yet. Over 150 architects, engineers and developers from all over the city attended the event to discuss building performance, a topic that’s becoming increasingly relevant to Toronto’s urban landscape.
Entuitive is a Toronto-based engineering consulting firm dedicated to creating innovative, progressive and long-lasting structures. The firm holds CityVision annually in Calgary and Toronto to give development and engineering professionals a place to delve deep into issues and ideas surrounding the changing urban landscape.
This year’s discussion focused on health and safety, longevity, comfort, energy consumption and long-term costs, which are all crucial aspects of building performance. Toronto developers are making a concerted effort to prioritize these issues in each of their projects moving forward.
At the podium to shed light on the topic was Brock Schroeder, Managing Principal at Entuitive.
“There is a defining move in the industry towards performance-based design – one of the drivers behind our exploring building performance,” Schroeder said. “Owners, residents, occupants and communities expect more from buildings; it’s about delivering a building that becomes a more valuable asset, for the betterment of our cities.”
At the event, Entuitive released the first-ever research report on building performance. The report outlined five changes that have taken place all over the world recently, directly influencing the need for improved building practices.
The first change was dubbed “hidden to open” by Entuitive. New policy changes have increased the public’s desire for transparency and honesty in terms of construction materials, products and energy consumption.
The second was called “prescriptive performance.” As building standards and codes change and evolve over the years, the demand for creativity, cutting-edge ideas and quality construction goes up, altering the way we look at new structures and developments.
The report also described the way the development process is becoming much more collaborative and integrated, a shift Entuitive calls “me to we.” The building process isn’t as rigid or fixed anymore, making room for more diverse design aesthetics and viewpoints.
Entuitive calls the fourth change taking place in the world of building and construction “reactive to proactive.” Builders and city officials alike are beginning to prepare projects and contingency plans years in advance, a global shift which Entuitive said has led many cities to appoint a Chief Resiliency Officer, a role that requires a great deal of forward thinking and strategizing.
Finally, the report explained that today, city officials and citizens are seriously taking into account how infrastructure and developments affect health, safety, productivity and overall lifestyles. Entuitive said that builders should be taking a holistic approach to construction by being cognizant of the effects their decisions will have on the environment and its inhabitants, something they refer to as “building to ecosystem.”
Entuitive’s persuasive report sparked an important discussion about the future of building and the rapidly evolving urban environment. The call for a more inclusive, green and accountable system is louder than it ever has been.