Creating A Sustainable Urban Development
The Boyle Renaissance Master Plan is a unique multi-phase neighbourhood revitalization project located in the heart of the City of Edmonton's downtown district called "The Quarter's", adjacent to the historical Boyle community. Once all three phases are completed, the project intends to represent a new model for how inner city growth and development can integrate practices and planning that foster social, economic, cultural and environmental sustainability at affordable levels.
The Boyle Renaissance Project started as a bold vision outlined as a Concept Plan in 2008. Through community consultation, it evolved into a Master Plan composed of three phases, which will be completed by 2014.
Phase I involves the construction of the YMCA Welcome Village. It will include 150 affordable housing units, as well as a new community centre, children's daycare and other amenities. It is scheduled for completion in Fall 2012.
Phase II is currently underway and it entails the construction of 90 units intended for long-term affordable housing. These units have been designed specifically for seniors and individuals with disabilities.
Phase III of the project is the reconstruction of the old York Hotel to provide more affordable housing.
Mike Holmes was asked by the City of Edmonton to join the project in March 2011. He partnered with Darlene Lennie and the Métis Capital Housing Corporation to revive the project's ambitious plan for exemplary sustainable features that were in danger of being lost within budget cuts and planning measures.
From inception to execution, the 90-unit complex has been designed and constructed by local architectural firm Architecture ATB to accommodate the distinct needs of the elderly and disabled.
Located on 95 Street between 104 Avenue and 105 Avenue, the $22-million 120,000 square foot complex will stand seven floors high and incorporate green design technologies, including shared heat and power systems. A commercial space on the ground floor provides an activated streetscape and relevant local services to the neighbourhood-key features for reviving the community in the Master Plan.
The success of the project is due to an impressive working partnership between the City of Edmonton, Province of Alberta, Canadian Paraplegic Association, Boyle Street Community League and the Métis Capital Housing Corporation (MCHC), who will act as building Owners & Operators.
The main purpose of this ambitious project is to provide affordable, senior-friendly, barrier-free housing for Aboriginal seniors and the disabled, creating a comfortable and healthy environment conducive to the needs of its residents.
The project has introduced the first District Energy application in Edmonton that crosses public right-of-ways to different building owners and operators.
District Energy is the ability to share hot and/or cool water between multiple buildings that are powered by just one mechanical plant. This approach provides higher efficiencies, less operating costs and reduced emissions.
The selected power source is a co-generation heat and power system known as "CHP" or combined heat and power systems. It was chosen primarily for two reasons: It is approximately 20-25 per cent more efficient than standard boiler systems that reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions [GHG]; and it simultaneously re-utilizes waste heat normally emitted into the air to generate on-site electricity that is sold back to the grid.
This system is estimated to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions by 7,500 tonnes over the 30-year life of the system-the equivalent of removing 2,884 cars from the road.
The Holmes Group continues to work with ENMAX and the City of Edmonton on additional and larger scale applications of District Energy to reduce the environmental impact of urban living.
Other sustainability features include:
The team was able to install this system within an affordable housing budget through an investment partnership with the providing utility, ENMAX Ltd.
The Holmes Group has been a pivotal participant in creating new business methods with private and public partnerships that increase the sustainable value of projects.
The project's invaluable partnerships have not only made the construction of the complex possible, but affordable to those who need it most.
Métis Capital Housing Corporation (MCHC) acts as the project catalyst as building Owner & Operator and has participated with the City of Edmonton's overall Master Plan to revitalize Edmonton's downtown core. It has been a member of the Boyle Renaissance Advisory Committee since 2007, providing input on the necessity of affordable housing in the area, while ensuring Aboriginal interests are represented.
ENMAX Energy will provide the necessary infrastructure for district energy and combined heat and power (CHP), allowing affordable housing units to benefit from advanced heating and power systems that use cleaner burning natural gas. ENMAX is providing heat to Phase I and heat and electricity to Phase II.
Select suites will benefit from Cisco's "Cisco Smart Home System", allowing residents to control advanced home applications from a single touch pad interface, such as heat, window shades, door locks and lighting. Cisco is providing the necessary infrastructure connecting into each suite to ensure fast and easy upgrades for residents' future technology requirements.
Through the Cornerstone Funding program, the City of Edmonton has provided leadership in sustainable design and strong support to the team at all stages of the project. The City of Edmonton Council, City Staff and Mayor Stephen Mandel have demonstrated a strong commitment and political determination to establish responsible and sustainable development for Edmonton communities.
Through continued support at the provincial and federal [CMHC] levels our team is able to advance the interests and standards of affordable housing to new levels and higher value.