Versa Wallcovering

Concorde Place

When designer Linda Makins first visited Concorde Place, the twin tower condominiums in North York Toronto that her firm would renovate, one of her first concerns was about how much waste the project would generate.  “It was one of the largest refurbishment projects in Toronto,” remembers Makins, a principal of Makins + Ladna Design Inc., Mississauga, Ontario.  “Two 37-floor buildings with a total of 74 corridors represented a huge volume of materials.  We were concerned about the environmental impact of the current renovation as well as how the materials we specified would affect future renovations.”

Since forming those initial impressions, Makins + Ladna Design has managed the fate of the project’s 22,000 LY of wallcovering, none of which has ended up in a landfill.  Some 11,000 LY of wallcovering were removed from the buildings and recycled via Second-Look®.  These were replaced with 11,000 LY of new Versa wallcoverings with 20% recycled content.  When the new wallcoverings are ready for replacement in 10-15 years, the property management group, Brookfield Residential Services, plans to recycle them again.

“I thought recycling would take more time to coordinate, but it was a breeze,” says Makins.  “I was surprised by how easy it was.  The Second-Look program sent us special bins that we placed in the corridors.  We filled them very quickly and recycled the wallcovering for the same cost or less than it would have cost to landfill them.  In fact, the wallcoverings came in under budget, providing us with additional funds for signage and furnishings.”     

Working closely with the condo’s decorating committee, Makins + Ladna selected two Versa recycled wallcovering designs that support the buildings’ contemporary urban style and project a warm and inviting atmosphere.  A textured bronze wallcovering creates an accent wall in the triangle-shaped elevator lobby on each floor and coordinates with a bronze stripe in the modular carpet.  This is surrounded by creamy, linen textured wallcoverings used in the rest of the elevator lobby and throughout the corridors.  “At first, we thought we might be limited on the design selection in recycled wallcoverings, but we were really happy with the Second-Look options. The design committee even liked these better than wallcoverings that weren’t recycled.”

Today, visitors to the contemporary twin towers don’t always realize the care that was taken to make this a sustainable environment.  But everyone involved in the project does, according to Makins.  “From our designers to the contractor, condominium owners and management company, we all are really proud of the project.”