Green New Deal News

Melt Collective is the Oakvillage eco-Hackathon winner

An international group of 20 judges (including representatives from the Town of Oakville) chose a pitch from Melt Collective to be included in the fourth stage of construction of the Minto’s Oakvillage project on the north-east corner of Dundas and Trafalgar.

Melt Collective, a think tank and self-described “research cluster” from Vancouver, British Colombia, won the online Hackathon at the end of November with their idea for sustainably sourced balconies.

The proposed balconies would be built from recycled glass and aluminum that will reduce the production of greenhouse gas emissions from heating. They would also give residents space to grow their own edible plants.

Melt Collective works to find creative ways for the reuse of waste in the urban environment. The group is located on the University of British Columbia campus and includes students in Engineering, Biology and Anthropology. It runs a laboratory where teams help to develop projects for the reprocessing of used plastics as well as other materials. Select projects advertised on their website include recycled material being used to create toilets, art pieces and even skate parks.

Minto Communities says that it was Melt Collective’s focus on developing a holistic vision for sustainability at Oakvillage that swayed their decision. Melt Collective will now discuss with Minto Communities and Town of Oakville officials on how to implement the balconies as well as other possible innovations.

“We’re looking forward to meeting with Melt Collective to learn more about how their innovative vision for a circular community could be applied to phase four of Oakvillage,” says Carl Pawlowski, Minto’s Project Coordinator of Product Development and Sustainability. “The Hackathon was a great opportunity to step back and learn from others from around the world.”

A need for sustainability in Oakville

A report produced earlier this year from the Halton Climate Collective showed that 90% of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the region come from buildings or transportation. The authors wrote that emissions were clearly, “directly tied to how we heat our buildings.” Furthermore, building emissions accounted for 50% of Halton GHG emissions in 2018 in comparison to 21% in the rest of Ontario. This is likely because of the large residential communities and rapid population growth in Oakville and the rest of the GTA. This year’s Halton Climate Report speculated that without interventions, emissions could increase by 80% by 2050.

The resulting change in climate will lead to hotter summers and milder winters which have been shown to cause wonky sequences of thawing and freezing. Other eventualities include prolonged heat waves, droughts, intense rainfall, dramatic fluctuations in water levels and extreme cold weather events like ice storms. Needless to say, all of these events would have a dramatic economic toll on infrastructure, business and Town institutions.

Oakville Mayor Rob Burton welcomed the innovative ideas for sustainable building practices. “As a growing city with a lot of green ambitions, Oakville has a great need to work with developers to create harmony and prosperity,” he wrote in a press release.

The fourth stage of Oakvillage is currently in the designing phase and its expected to be completed by 2024.