2011 City of Ottawa Urban Design Award of Merit, Urban Infill
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This four-storey multi-unit residential building is comprised of 42 studio apartments, administrative spaces and communal amenity spaces. The building provides housing for homeless women in a secure, well supervised, independent living environment. While a shared kitchen and dining area is provided on the ground floor, all women also have access to semi-private cooking facilities on each floor in addition to in-suite facilities. The common space on each residential floor also includes a lounge, laundry, and an exterior balcony. The building was designed to a high standard for life safety and is classified as a B3 (care occupancy) by the Ontario Building Code.
Located in an inner-city residential neighbourhood, the building is set back from the street to match the building line of neighbouring houses. Cladding and façade treatments break down the form of the building to respect the scale and density of the street. A rear courtyard provides ground level exterior amenity space for the residents. Secure bike storage is provided and the central location close to bus routes allows residents easy access to local amenities without the requirement of a car.
The three pillars of sustainability (environmental, economic, and societal) are all evident in this project. As a charitable organization Cornerstone has a limited budget for operation and maintenance of the building. To reduce maintenance costs and provide economic and social sustainability, highly durable, locally sourced materials were selected. Maintenance cost savings were also found through provision of a high-efficiency envelope, a high-efficiency HVAC system, energy star rated appliances, and low-flow plumbing fixtures. A range of measures to enhance occupant health and improve indoor environmental quality were taken including exclusive use of no- and low-VOC products, and generous access to daylight and views.