All posts by Giulio

Central District Lagoon City: Forty Management brings Maldives to Bucharest



Forty Management is the first Romanian developer to scale this project in three other capital cities in the region: Budapest, Prague and Warsaw.

Central District Lagoon City has a gross development value ranging from EUR 396 to 488 million, depending on the city in which it is implemented.

Lagoon City is the first 100% self-sustainable, mixed urban redevelopment project in Central and Eastern Europe.

Forty Management has started work on the development of Central District Lagoon City Bucharest, the most innovative, self-sustainable, mixed-use urban reconversion project, unique in Central and Eastern Europe. The value of the investment in Romania exceeds €120 million, while the projects scaled up in Budapest, Prague and Warsaw will have investment values between €140 and €190 million each, depending on the mix and the needs identified on these markets.

What makes the Bucharest project unique is that fact that it will implement for the first time in Central Eastern Europe the patented Crystal Lagoons® technology, which allows the construction and maintenance of cost and energy efficient artificial turquoise water lagoons of unlimited size. It will cover an area of over 10,000 sqm, have a maximum depth of 2 meters, two large beaches of more than 3,200 sqm and numerous other facilities. The lagoon, which is expected to be completed by the end of this year, will be used for swimming and water sports in summer and partly as an ice rink in winter.

Lagoon City brings around this artificial lagoon a 5 star hotel with 323 rooms affiliated to an international brand, 401 apartments for rent, 9,200 sqm of commercial and service spaces, a class A, 8,500 sqm office building, as well as countless other facilities, practically a mini city with all the necessary destinations for urban living. Located in central Bucharest (at No.18, Coralilor Street), Central District Lagoon City is the first mixed urban redevelopment project that will produce all its utilities in-house, thus capitalizing on Forty Management’s know-how and experience in sustainability.

The amenities of Central District Lagoon City will include a heliport, concierge services for all apartments, 3 restaurants, 2 beach bars, a 430 sqm bistro that will also serve the beach area, a sky bar, cafes, a private cinema, kindergarten, 2 spa centres, a beauty clinic and electric car co-sharing services.

To develop the Lagoon City concept, Forty Management has acquired the Crystal Lagoons® franchise, the most innovative American technology company for the development and implementation of sustainable lagoons and artificial beaches, with more than 1 100 projects completed or in various stages of execution in over 60 countries. Forty Management has obtained the rights to implement the Crystal Lagoons® in Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic and Romania.

We are delighted to partner with Forty Management to bring the revolutionary Crystal Lagoons® concept and technology to Bucharest, Budapest, Prague and Warsaw. As a market leader in innovation and technology, we strive to bring idyllic beach life closer to people’s homes and transform city life all over the world. Our real estate and Public Access Lagoons™ projects provide attractive meeting places adapted to each market’s demands. We are proud that our patented technology, unique in the world, can contribute to improving the quality of life of people in Central and Eastern Europe and bring sustainability to the entire region,” said Francisco Matte, Crystal Lagoons® Regional Director.

“With this extraordinary project we aim to redefine the notions of lifestyle and entertainment, bringing all these high-end amenities right into the city centre and transforming Bucharest into a holiday destination with turquoise waters and idyllic beaches. Moreover, Lagoon City implements the highest standard of sustainable development, as it is the first mixed green real estate project in Central Europe, self-sustainable, where all utilities are produced in-house,” said Lucian Azoiței, Forty Management’s CEO.


Forty Management places Sustainability at the core of its way of working, as an important value they build their business upon. Each of our developments is brought to life having in mind the future wellbeing of both individuals and community.

25% of the total global gas emissions producing significant climate changes are caused by construction operations; we aim at decreasing this percentage by preserving the natural habitat, using technical solutions and materials with low carbon impact and ensuring operational sustainability for the entire lifespan of our developments. To certify strong sustainability targets are constantly maintained, we work closely with reliable professionals, specializing in environmental analysis.

Carbon impact:

According to the latest analysis of Climate Action Tracker (CAT), our planet’s atmospheric temperature is in danger to increase by +2,4˚C till the end of this century. This is an important topic to us, therefore we work with a sustainability team to develop a comprehensive assessment of both embodied and operational carbon. Part of this process, we measure emissions during the construction phase and the subsequent building in-use over several years. The results are analysed and compared for all our current developments.

Environmental approach:
The ecological impact of our projects is steadily assessed by our environmental engineering team to mitigate the impact of climate change. We request our design partners to be compliant with circular economy strategies, future-proof solutions that ensure efficient use of natural resources, thermal comfort, and indoor air quality. Committed to accelerate climate action, we developed an analytical framework focused on major themes of sustainability such as: wellbeing, community impact, land and ecology, energy and carbon, social equity, planning for change.

About Forty Management:

Forty Management is a Romanian developer of premium green mixed-use urban reconversion under Central District brand. Founded in 2015 by real estate entrepreneur Lucian Azoitei, Forty Management distinguishes on the market through the innovation and sustainability approaches of their concepts.

Sustainability and energy efficiency are at the forefront of all their developments. All the buildings developed under the Central District brand have superior certifications in this respect and Forty Management has received multiple awards numerous competitions and conferences in the field, both internationally and locally. The company is a member of the Romanian Green Building Council (RoGBC), an organisation that promotes environmental responsibility and energy efficiency. All Central District’s residential developments are certified “Green Homes”.

The scale up of the Lagoon City green urban reconversion concept will be implemented in Budapest, Warsaw and Prague through the company’s Swiss-based subsidiary Forty Management AG.

More details about the Central District and Lagoon City projects can be found here:,

Briarwood Homes offers ‘suburbia-in-the country’ lifestyle


With Canada’s population growing by leaps and bounds, Briarwood Homes is keen on providing developments that offer the charm of the countryside with the convenience of urban amenities.

A case in point is the Trilogy site in Sutton, Ontario, with community neighbourhoods perfect for raising a family or retirement.


“We love Sutton because it represents everything a community in York Region has to offer but has the added benefits of a more relaxed living experience,” says Enzo Di Giovanni, owner and President of Briarwood Homes. “In Trilogy, you get a modern urban house with all the bells and whistles but in a place that’s ideal for the modern homeowner’s wish list.


“We strive to build these family-oriented, car-friendly neighbourhoods close to schools, with parks and in safe locations conducive to raising children.”

Trilogy in Sutton checks the boxes on all counts, including these key points:


  • Located a few minutes east of Georgina and Keswick;
  • Close to larger municipalities, including Newmarket, East Gwillimbury and Aurora;
  • Just minutes away from Lake Simcoe, and conveniently close to Highway 404.
  • Suburbia in the country;
  • City of Barrie is accessible from Sutton;
  • Having everything a York Region community offers;
  • Perfect for raising a family and accommodating an aging community – homes are tailored to the upcoming families or retirees looking for a new home;
  • The community is at the start of the Sutton-Zephyr Rail Trail, a 13.4-kilometre hiking track.

With single-family detached homes in this picturesque subdivision still available, the area provides a small-town lifestyle that’s worth celebrating, says Di Giovanni.

“So much of the joy of living depends on finding the right home for your family,” Di Giovanni says. “And Trilogy does that in a beautiful, natural spot.”


Nestled among the forest, fields and close to Lake Simcoe, Trilogy and Sutton offers a place where life unfolds at a different pace.


There’s time to savour the simple things in life, from a walk in the woods amidst the colours of autumn, to skipping stones across the glassy surface of the lake. At Trilogy, it’s a dream locale for families, while surrounded by Mother Nature in all her finest.


All of which meshes seamlessly with the raison d’etre of Briarwood Homes.

Now in its 28th year in Canada, the company has showcased its expertise and innovation throughout Southern Ontario. Its communities extend from Kingston in the east, to Muskoka in the north, Fort Erie to the southwest … and points in between. Besides Sutton, there are high, low and mid-rise communities in Newmarket, Brampton, Milton, Angus and Prince Edward County.


Briarwood Homes employs a forward-thinking philosophy that continues to find its name at the top rung of the building industry ladder, succeeding in the development of more sustainable communities that are also environment-friendly.


Di Giovanni says green roofs are being incorporated on top of its high-rise buildings, and rough-ins are included in garages to accommodate electric vehicles.


“It is all about anticipating what our homebuyers are looking for today and need for generations to come,” he says.

Homebuyers appreciate the hands-on attention and unparalleled customer service from Briarwood Homes. Di Giovanni says only the highest quality materials are sourced, and a wide selection of options are hand-picked.


Di Giovanni says there’s a synergy at Briarwood Homes, with a finely-tuned team, including skilled trades associates, that is all about developing and building all-encompassing communities, such as Trilogy, with a full range of amenities and retail services.

Leaving nothing to chance, Briarwood Homes always has a top-notch designer available to assist new-home buyers with the selection of finishes and upgrades to best represent their personal style. The company values quality, whether it’s designing new homes, models or a new condo lobby.


“I am very proud of our new projects currently in production, such as Trilogy,” says Di Giovanni.

“As a working CEO, my command central can be from our head office in Richmond Hills or, more likely, in my car travelling to new-home sites or appraising new possibilities,” he says. “I am completely hands on, ensuring my personal involvement in all aspects of Briarwood Homes, delivering my total commitment to quality – it is in my DNA.”


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Briarwood Homes has established itself as one of the foremost names in the new home industry, leading the way in creating and building distinctive landmark residential properties. Residences offer certified architectural designs and open concept interiors with features that maximize innovative ideas and thinking. The company’s mandate is to inspire today’s sophisticated new homebuyer, fulfilling a desire for liveable and sustainable environments. Briarwood Homes will diligently search for superior locations with elements that embrace, articulate and preserve nature’s design.  An important focus is to creatively introduce attributes such as parks and public spaces that are all interwoven into thoughtfully planned beautiful streetscapes. Ease of access to everyday amenities and being well-connected is also an important ingredient. All this attention influences and culminates into extraordinary communities matched with perfect lifestyles.

Strong promotional push provides Centreville Homes with enhanced visibility

They say timing is everything and Centreville Homes continues to adhere to that principle.

Established in 2006 by founder and president Cesare Bauco, Centreville Homes has been making its mark in the construction industry ever since and is now ramping things up with a more aggressive marketing push.

“We have been a company that liked to stay under the radar,” says Bauco, “but now, with our recent growth and our online presence, we are adjusting our approach.”

Centreville Homes is an experienced urban infill builder that incorporates a hands-on approach to every facet of construction of its new homes. Its knowledge and experience allows for design and project creation that will not only enhance and add value to existing communities but make them landmarks.

As a Tarion/HRCA (Home Construction Regulatory Authority) registered builder, Centreville Homes brings clients a happy living experience created by dedicated professionals with decades of expertise in building homes and land development.

“We have the knowledge and experienced team of consultants to undertake the development process from start to approval,” says Bauco. “In In the last few years, for example, we have acquired lands yielding approximately 908 residential units in various phases of development with an estimated acquisition value of just over $100 million dollars (CAD).”

The company’s success spreads right across the Greater Toronto area from the municipalities of North York, Mississauga, Scarborough, Pickering, Woodbridge, Maple, Barrie, Shelburne and to Blue Mountains near Thornbury, Ontario.

“We understand the details in homebuilding that make the difference between good and exceptional. And we insist that those details are celebrated in all our homes,” says Bauco.

Bauco has been in the residential development industry for over 20 years and oversees the day-to-day operations of the company along with review of new development opportunities and acquisitions.

Part of Centreville Homes’ plan involves looking to acquire development opportunities and expand building operations into the United States, which has involved discussions with property owners in Florida, California, Nashville and Texas.

Centreville Homes takes pride in building landmark homes across the GTA, helping to bring lasting value to communities – wherever they may be.

Look no further than the Essa Towns urban townhome development in Barrie, Ontario.


Essa Towns has everything clients want in a home. It’s a focal point of the neighbourhood, features Barrie’s only residential rooftop patio homes, with a multi-colour brick veneer exterior design, modern architecture, smart-home features and unique floor plans. Some call it the definition of urban living in modern luxury.


Essa Towns is literally located at the centre of everything in the area. Alongside everyday amenities, Barrie is rich with over 300 hectares of scenic parks, over 88 kilometres of public trails and a beautiful waterfront at the heart of the city.

Emulating European styles with attention to both design and function, Essa Towns offers the finest new living space in Barrie. Consideration was given to space for storage, cooking and entertainment.


“Essa Towns also demonstrates how we are working with pre-manufactured panels for construction that will reduce waste, which is better for the environment, and energy-efficient building,” says Bauco. “It also speeds up construction time and provides a better quality of construction.

“We believe that Essa Towns is an example of a stepping stone for the next projects to come our way. We are looking to grow and move our company to the pinnacle of the industry by our commitment to best-in-class home product innovation and service offerings.”

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Centreville Homes is an experienced urban infill builder incorporating a hands-on approach to every facet of new-home construction. The company’s knowledge and experience allows it to design and create projects that will not only enhance and add value to existing communities but make them landmarks.

Huron Creek Developments tackling the need for affordable housing


Staying one step ahead of the competition is a business strategy that has served Huron Creek Developments well over the years.

Nearly a decade ago, that meant undergoing a major brand change that motivated a new look. Today, that means having a commitment to the critical need for affordable housing.

It’s about being cutting edge, in touch with what’s happening in the world around them … then responding.

“We are always looking for opportunities to build better and be better,” says Rick Martins, Vice-President at Huron Creek Developments.

“Our approach to affordable housing is an example. Our most recent project, La Loma, in Kitchener, Ontario, consists of 144 modern, stack townhouses that will be offered as affordable rentals towards the end of 2023.

“This is an important contribution to the community, as we were seeing a lack of affordable housing across the board.”

Taking their approach one step further, Huron Creek is making the affordable units ENERGY STAR® rated and net-zero ready, with dual fuel systems for added energy efficiency and savings.

“Searching for ways to increase the energy efficiency of a new home is imperative for us, and we can pass down the energy savings of an efficient home to our homeowners.,” Martins stressed. An Energy Star certified home is on average 20 per cent more energy-efficient than a typical new home.”

The industry has taken notice.

At the 2022 ENERGY STAR® Canada awards, Huron Creek was named Builder of the Year – Mid-size. The selection committee said that Huron Creek Developments is a leader in innovation of new home construction and community development. All of Huron Creek’s homes are Energy Star certified and they actively promote their Energy Star certified homes through a wide range of diversified marketing activities, including Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and other platforms. They take pride in communicating the benefits of an Energy Star certified home to current and future homeowners.”

The selection committee said key 2021 accomplishments by Huron Creek include:

• Attained ENERGY STAR® certification for all homes built;
• Recognized by Building Knowledge Canada for building practices and consistent airtightness levels;
• Created an interactive virtual self-guided tour of their Energy Star homes, highlighting the standard Energy Star features available.

“The 2022 ENERGY STAR® award is a significant accomplishment that we will continue to honour through our commitment to advocate affordability in all the homes we build.” says Martins.

Besides the ardent Energy Star application and support, Huron Creek has made a slew of advances towards more sustainable building practices, including:

• Improved waste and water management;
• Energy management technologies;
• AeroBarrier premium air tightness technology;
• Increased insulation: Below grade under slab insulation, two-inch foam board against concrete exterior walls, minimum R-60 Insulated exterior;
• Construction waste sorted onsite for appropriate recycling and disposal;
• Rigid foam insulation allows for less lumber to be used;
• Recycled building materials;
• Solar-ready roof requirements;
• High-efficiency appliances;
• Low flow toilets.

In 2021, Huron Creek completed its first net-zero ready model home for the Westwood Village Preserve community in Cambridge, Ontario, an option subsequently made available for other homeowners.

“Sustainability and affordability continue to be a priority for us,” says Martins. “There has been a big push from the government in recent years to provide net-zero certified homes and we are constantly evolving and assessing different ways to meet that goal at an affordable level for homeowners.

“None of this would be possible without our dedicated employees and trade partners who help us to grow and push the boundaries of what is possible. They are the driving force of Huron Creek Developments and the inspiration to do more and be better.”

Recently, the principals of Huron Creek expanded to the U.S., with Catana Construction actively building a presence in the new home building market of southwest Florida. The spectrum of these homes range from luxury custom-built homes, to short-term vacation rentals and affordable housing.

“We are committed to help to reduce the carbon footprint of our buildings and infrastructure to build better and more with less,” says Martins. “It’s the only way we can build progress for people and the planet together.
“Huron Creek Developments is accelerating the transition to a net-zero future through net-zero construction. We are continually rethinking and improving the basic principles of design and construction and have adopted many environmentally-conscious practices as a standard process in all of the homes we build.”
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Huron Creek Developments has over 80 years of collective new home construction experience. The company strives to create a better building experience for all its new homeowners. The Huron Creek team has been consistently recognized for its ongoing commitment to innovation in both technology and building processes – making affordable home ownership a reality for everyone.

Hidden House in Lagos, Portugal


House on a cliff by Kerimov Architects in Portugal

The 800 sq. m house is located on a cliff, near the ocean, in a natural environment. The project had to take into account the main requirement of the local municipality: the house should be practically invisible, minimally change the local landscape and not stand out in the environment, since the cliff in which it is located is clearly visible from the downtown.


The house is perfectly integrated into the landscape: from the side of the road, the building seems to be one-story, but from the side of the ocean and the downtown it is almost invisible. Thanks to the smart arrangement of the volumes, following the topography of the site, we were able to achieve the effect of a natural elevation difference: the terraces become a continuation of the landscape. It’s worth noticing that each level (zero and -1) has a view of the natural surrounding and natural sunlight.

The atrium structure is at the heart of the design. Each functional volume of the house is an independent architectural unit. The laconic-formed volumes made it possible to optimize the building area and achieve an architectural appearance that does not argue with the natural context. The color scheme of the house, built of architectural concrete and metal, is inspired by the color of the area: the sandy shade of the facade correlates with the color of the rocks, so the house, like a chameleon, mimics the rocky landscape without standing out.

There are two pools in the project. One is a consoled swimming path with glass sides and a bottom; it is facing the ocean and is located at the level of the upper living room. The second is a large swimming pool at -1 level facing the cliff.

The staff building, which separates the entrance group from the living area, has an exploitable roof with a roof garden where one can relax in nature and enjoy the view.

A bridge leads to the entrance group of the house, on the ground floor. The inner courtyard, on the lower level, can be reached by going down the stairs along the wall with a waterfall.

Strictly following the requirements for insolation, we oriented the house to the cardinal points and maximized all the windows at the main viewpoints. It allows the inhabitants to feel comfortable at home even in the hottest time of the year.

The project uses the sun as an additional source of energy: solar panels are installed on the roofs, which collect both solar and thermal energy. Thermal energy is used to heat the pool and to heat the house on rare cool days. The insolation of the house is also regulated by swivel lamellas installed on the windows.

Since the rocky terrain is problematic for laying communications, we installed water collection tanks and funnels.

Fusioncorp embraces innovation and new technologies in sustainable construction policies

Nick Ainis is a progressive thinker who leads by example when it comes to the construction industry.


As founder and CEO of Fusioncorp Developments Inc., Ainis spearheads one interesting project after another – all of which contribute to his vision of building a greener future.


“The industry has been volatile since the pandemic,” says Ainis. “We have been dealing with supply chain issues, record inflation, and lack of manpower and quality trades.

“On the economic side, this has resulted in a downturn and more uncertainty in the residential condo industry. Interest rates have risen, plus there is a war in the world with political change rampant.


“So, you name it, we have it. While all this is happening, there’s also a movement towards combating climate change and diversity, equity and inclusion.”


He says housing affordability is at the forefront of the situation, with a push to increase the number of units brought into the marketplace.

“But who is going to build it?” Ainis asks. “That is changing right now with the way the industry builds and constructs in the future.  As I see it, the biggest problem in our industry is that it’s slow to innovate.”


Fusioncorp is working to change that.


Ainis points to a number of projects his company has been involved with that encompass criteria he mentioned – climate, equity, diversity and inclusion.


“We have built a number of affordable housing projects for York Region housing (Lakeside Residences in Keswick and for New Frontiers Aboriginal Residential Corporation (Amik II  and Amik III),” he says. “In particular, Lakeside Residences achieved LEED silver certification (close to gold) and it was a brownfield site, constructed of insulated concrete forms, making the building extremely energy-efficient.  Along with Amik II and III, these projects were built for people with a low income and the aboriginal community, so we are quite proud that we contributed to helping those in need.“

On yet another level, Ainis started his own non-profit company to give back and support the housing issue that he believes is at the forefront in the market right now.


“Oikeo Non Profit Housing Inc. was established to tackle the affordability of housing,” Ainis explains, “… not only by providing homes for those in need but also through innovation in the housing industry.  I personally believe that we can solve our housing affordability issue through innovation – at least partially so.”


Even the most skeptical non-believer, Ainis says, can no longer ignore the inevitable consequences of climate change.

“We all know what we can do on a personal level to reduce our carbon footprint, but what about an industry that is responsible for the housing of our rapidly growing population?” asks Ainis. “How can developers and construction companies reduce their carbon footprint, as well as build more sustainable living environments that not only save new homebuyers money, but also our planet?”


To put those values into perspective, Fusioncorp has even compiled a list of seven steps to building a green future.

The variety and thoroughness of its approach speaks volumes about Fusioncorp’s attention to detail, with a full description available on the company website.


Basically, the seven steps are:


1) Use non-toxic building materials;

2) Refine demolition and repurpose reusable materials;

3) Use locally-sourced materials;

4) Water conservation and recycling;
5) Harness the power of sun and wind
6) Build green and multi-use spaces;
7) And empower homeowners to live green.


Ainis would be the first to admit that building iconic new developments is not easy. There is a high level of planning, preparation, analysis and management that goes into each project, no more so than when Fusioncorp tackles an adaptive re-use challenge.


“Converting and restoring historic properties is challenging but also very rewarding,” says Ainis, citing Garment Factory Lofts, Wells Street Schoolhouse Lofts, King George School Lofts and The Harbour Club, as examples.


From century old schoolhouses converted into condos to abandoned factories resurrected into iconic lofts and residences, Fusioncorp’s experience with such projects is industry-renowned and second to none.


“Through the art of constructing conversions and historic preservation, we are inevitably protecting the environment though adaptive re-use,” he says. “We also preserving the story behind these older buildings filled with stories from the past.  I love history and learning about the past from these older buildings, which makes these projects even more rewarding to work on.”


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Family works with Somerset Construction to realize dream of sustainable, fossil-fuel-free home

When Steven and Jenny Hitchinson were looking for a builder for their planned net-zero home, they looked no further than Somerset Construction.


First, they brought in Andy Thomson of Thomson Architecture Inc. to provide a design, then moved on to finding a construction partner to pull everything together and make their dream a reality.


“This is a daunting task for a homeowner and we initially struggled to find a contractor who possessed the skills and desire to take on new and unique project like this,” says Steven Hitchinson. “Through a referral and after initial conversations we knew that Graeme Sperber and his team at Somerset Construction were the perfect partners for this project as they were fundamentally excited to learn with us and apply their decades of building experience to something new.”

In 2020, the couple had purchased a property in Port Credit and, with Thomson’s design in hand, they approached Somerset, and the work began.


“When we bought the property with the intent to renovate to net zero, we quickly realized that the level of modifications required to mesh old and new while achieving maximum building performance was going to be more difficult and expensive than building from scratch,” says Hitchinson. “Andy Thomson possessed a deep understanding of building sciences and techniques to achieve our goals.”

Then Somerset entered the equation. Here are the basic design requirements that were presented by the Hitchinsons:


  • Eliminate the use of fossil fuels;
  • Maximize the free energy provided by the sun through passive heating and solar PV;
  • Build a smart and functional space;
  • And use low carbon materials and track the total embodied carbon to be offset in the future.


Sperber, President of Somerset Construction in North York, says the Hitchinson project has resulted in a magnificent, carbon neutral, net-zero and energy-efficient home.

“Through the process of building this home, we have learned some key things,” he says. “For example, it’s the attention to detail – the little things – that have a big impact.  The structural connections, the fastening details and the superstructure penetrations might be perceived as insignificant, however they go a long way in the thermal performance.


“Further, it’s understanding how the selection of materials, such as high-performance air barriers and connections, as well as insulating layers and material choices, go a long way in ensuring the success of a net-zero home.”

The attention to detail is remarkable. Somerset, as a smaller company, has built a reputation on quality service, with an ability to be nimble, responsive and personalized in its approach.


“This Port Credit project,” says Sperber, “is an example of how our business has expanded to include new homes and retrofit projects that could include high-efficiency, high-performing homes with a phased approach for net zero.”


The task was daunting. A list of key characteristics of the house points out the incredible attention to detail:

  1. Gas line was cut and won’t be reconnected;
  2. Design the roof to maximize solar PV:
    1. The roof pitch and size were specifically set based on the orientation of the house to maximize the size of the solar PV array (20kW) and, as result, the annual energy produced. The house would produce around 30,000 kWh/year.
    2. A standing seam metal roof would be installed to easily clip the solar PV system to the seams and avoid any penetrations within the roof membranes and assembly;
  3. Insulate everything:
    1. Insulation under the basement and garage floor slab.
    2. R42 exterior wall assembly made up of two layers of exterior three-inch rockwool comfortboard 110 and interior rockwool insulation between the studs.
    3. R70 roof with exterior sheathing completing covered in three-inch rockwool comfortboard to eliminate thermal bridging;
  4. Air tightness:
    1. A breathable air tightness membrane wraps the entire house from the basement slab to the peak of the roof. Extreme care was taken to ensure every window and penetration was properly sealed;
  5. Mechanical systems:
    1. Heating is provided by an air to water heat pump system that is distributed throughout the house.
    2. An energy recover ventilator continually monitors and provides fresh air into the house while helping to maintain humidity levels in both summer and winter.
    3. Cooling is provided by an independent ductless mini-split system and strategically located throughout the house;
  6. Taking advantage of passive solar:
    1. Large south-facing windows with a shading structure designed to maximize solar gains in the winter and minimize them during the summer;
  7. High performance windows:
    1. Triple pane, thermally broken windows, tilt-and-turn windows;
  8. Minimizing the amount of concrete used in the foundations:
    1. Concrete has a high carbon footprint, so the structural engineering team worked to provide eight-inch reinforced foundation walls versus the typical 10-inch to reduce the amount of concrete being used;
  9. Reduce thermal bridging:
    1. The traditional deck ledger was replaced by beam pockets incorporated into the foundation walls that allow the deck beams to run perpendicular to the house, allowing insulation to be maintained against the foundation walls.

“We pride ourselves on the connection and relationships we create with our clients – many of whom have come back for repeat business,” Sperber added. “Our goal is to exceed all our client expectations.”


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Established in 1999, Somerset Construction is a small-medium size wholly-owned Canadian company with a myriad of experience in the residential sector, commercial and light industry. Somerset specializes in complex projects working closely with the clients, architects, designers and engineers. Project management, construction management and general contracting are a few of Somerset’s strengths which allow its teams to execute projects on time and within budget.


The Ultimate Castaway Holiday


Easy-Going Living in Castaway Luxury

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is an idyllic island paradise, with lush tropical greenery and unparalleled views of and access to the majestic Indian Ocean.

Lifetimes away from the outside world, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island celebrates the Maldives as it was meant to be – pristine, peaceful and extraordinary, in perfect harmony with the natural environment.

The best time to visit Maldives from November to March, when you can enjoy sunny weather with a fresh breeze from Indian Ocean. There are over 132 resorts located in Maldives and all of them are so different. Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is one of the most unique resorts in Maldives, reachable only by seaplane, which is 30-minute flight from capital Male. It sets on two private islands, both dense with palm trees and indigenous flora that create a natural castaway haven, connected by an impressive 500-meter bridge with perfect miles of white-sand beaches.

Discover white sharks, manta rays and dolphins with snorkeling, yachting, and diving. The resort is quite large, which makes it feel very private and secluded from other guests. Once you step on the island – forget about everything, your personal butler will take care about all details and make sure that you have a pleasant stay. There is a wide variety of rooms: water villas, beach villas, spa water villas, over-water spa rooms with contemporary design with a relaxed desert island ambiance.

These are set on stilts in shallow, placid water some 10-meters out from Rangali Island. Each features two bedrooms, full ablutions, kitchen, ample living space, and generous deck. A wide range of amenities, including 12 world-class restaurants (and many other amenities) are available on Rangali Finolhu across the bridge.

Luxury Meets Sustainability

Eco tourism and sustainable tourism may be a hot topic in the travel industry at the moment, but it has always been an integral part of Rangali Island’s philosophy and of its mission statement. Conrad Maldives Rangali is on an eco-mission to make a difference.

Innovations are ongoing to make the resort fully sustainable. Wooden guest cards and paper drinking straws are just two innovations, complementing a ‘plastic free breakfast’. Much use is made of timber, thatch and other natural products in the chalets.

Conrad’s guests are encouraged to play an active role in reducing the use of harmful materials as they reinforce a positive impact while traveling as well as in their daily life at home offering eco-activities for both adults and children ranging from coral planting, beach clean ups and coral reef regeneration initiative with the resort’s marine biologists.

The drive for sustainable architecture comes into sharper focus during a visit to a neighboring, inhabited island. Guests experience a different way of being, as they contribute to their hydroponics garden. This empowers the island people to become self-sufficient, organically.

Surely, this is what ecotourism is all about? Sustainable architecture with a light, natural footprint, set within an ocean where you could swim in company of whale sharks, mantas, and dolphins. Or scuba and snorkel over brilliantly-varied coral reefs.

Live Like a Fish for a Little While

The Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is home to not one, but two underwater structures: the Ithaa underwater restaurant, and The Muraka, very first underwater hotel suite.

Imagine exploring the ocean depths, with the sunlight glistening on the water surface above. Rangali hosts a world first, fusion-style, regional-seafood restaurant five meters (16 feet) below the ocean surface, surrounded by an underwater coral garden.

Access to this place they call Ithaa, meaning mother-of-pearl, is via a spiral staircase from a thatched pavilion at the end of a jetty. This structure is robust having survived the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami unscathed, and provides access to a mostly acrylic underwater structure.

The 16 by 30 foot (5 by 9 meter) prefabricated building accommodates 14 diners within an R-Cast acrylic form. Some 85 tons of sand ballast keep it firmly located on 4 steel piles. Guests enjoy a unique dining experience beneath a transparent roof, offering a 270° underwater view, observing pufferfish, angelfish, parrotfish, and plenty of others.

Ithaa Undersea Restaurant is one of the most amazing underwater restaurants in the Maldives where you can dine-in for 390 US dollars for dinner and 238 US dollars for lunch. The menu consists of seven-course set option of fine food, including dishes like caviar, Agnotti of duck, reef fish tartare, Maldivian lobster carpaccio, saffron, champagne risotto, black angus beef tenderloin, and foie gras, with glass of champagne per person.

If you long to sleep in a luxury bed 16 feet below sea level, then Rangali Island has a two-level hotel suite, Muraka, which means coral in the local language, with unparallel underwater view, allowing you to gaze at the aquatic life as they swim by. The ground floor at surface level comprises a master bedroom, en-suite twin bedroom, sun deck, and infinity pool. While a smaller R-Cast acrylic shape hosts a double bedroom with 270° panoramic underwater views below.

The Maldives underwater hotel is sky-high expensive. The Muraka offers a four-night package that costs US $200,000, which includes the cost of a personal chef, a butler, a three-bedroom villa with two bathrooms, a kitchen, living room, dining area, an infinity pool on the terrace and the use of a private speedboat.

The Muraka is a triumph of modern design and technology, delivering a truly transformative journey suited to amaze the most sophisticated explorers across the globe.

Guests arrive by private seaplane, or speedboat transfer from adjoining Rangali Finolhu resort. The rate includes a private on-call speedboat, complimentary jet skis, private butler and chef, on-call massage, spa treatments and a personal trainer. Ten concrete pilings hold the R-Cast acrylic form in place. Sweet dreams for the night.