TORONTO – The Atmospheric Fund (TAF) is pleased to announce a $1,250,000 investment in Assembly Corp., a growing Toronto-based company that creates modular, prefabricated mass timber housing.
Assembly’s development process adopts a building approach akin to ‘Lego-style’ construction. Standardized parts are prefabricated in a factory and assembled onsite to improve cost-efficiency, targeting a 60% reduction in construction time compared to traditional methods that rely on concrete and steel. They integrate passive house principles, geothermal-based heating and cooling, and smart thermostats to reduce operational costs. Many of Assembly’s projects are affordable for non-profit housing corporations, with a focus on high-demand midrise developments, infill and laneway housing.
Analysis by TAF shows that Assembly buildings have potential to reduce both operating and embodied carbon emissions by 554,535 tonnes over the next 20 years, while providing urgently needed affordable housing in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. Natural materials like timber also provide better air quality and enhance living environments, resulting in improved health and safety for residents. Assembly’s projects also generate economic and job development, relying on local resources and boosting demand for low-carbon building skills.
“Our interest in Assembly goes beyond just demonstrating that new building infill can be done affordably with low-carbon approaches,” said Kristian Knibutat, VP of Impact Investing at TAF. “Assembly’s focus on sustainable housing and wellbeing for residents is deeply aligned with our investment mandate. This is just the type of solution we need in the region to scale high-performance, affordable new construction projects.”
Prefabricated mass timber is a relatively new construction method, and requires introducing new expertise from professionals in the design, construction and manufacturing industries. Despite the excellent potential for modular prefab housing to perform and scale, the lack of familiarity among architects, builders, and investors has been a barrier to wide adoption. TAF and Assembly share the commitment of full transparency to catalyze more capital to the green building industry and develop related skills within the market. Assembly’s open-source approach means sharing key learnings and best practices with other industry participants, which is mirrored by TAF’s investing approach.
“We are proud to work with TAF, and as we scale our company we will increase sustainable housing while sharing ideas with the industry to support the system change required. The industry is broken and needs fundamental change now.” says Geoff Cape, CEO of Assembly.
With 6 projects successfully completed and 12 more active for 2024, Assembly’s clients include non-profit organizations like Woodgreen, Elizabeth Fry, Thunder Woman Healing Lodge Society, St Clare’s and St Matthew’s House.
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About The Atmospheric Fund
The Atmospheric Fund (TAF) is a regional climate agency that invests in low-carbon solutions for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area and helps scale them up for broad implementation. We are experienced leaders and collaborate with stakeholders in the private, public and non-profit sectors who have ideas and opportunities for reducing carbon emissions. Supported by endowment funds, we advance the most promising concepts by investing, providing grants, influencing policies and running programs. We’re particularly interested in ideas that offer benefits in addition to carbon reduction such as improving people’s health, creating local jobs, boosting urban resiliency, and contributing to a fair society.
About Assembly Corp
Started in 2017 and formerly known as R-Hauz, Assembly provides efficient, prefabricated, wood buildings for the urban environment through a fixed price, turnkey service. Assembly creates mid-rise mass timber residential buildings, laneway and garden suites, and affordable housing to meet urgent housing needs for non-profits and municipalities. Assembly’s service includes design, entitlements, manufacturing and construction. Along with fixed prices and an Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) approach, Assembly’s method increases cost and timeline certainty to the design/build process.
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