SITUATION BEFORE THE INITIATIVE BEGAN [Approximately 50 WORDS]
Affordable Housing and Special Needs Housing is a major concern in the Region of Peel. In this geographical area with a population of approx.1,500,000 there is a current waiting list of over 16,000people waiting for housing. The success of the Chapelview Project affected many underprivileged groups because it created hope, inspiration and most important awareness in our communities and across the Country of Canada.---"All things are possible"
ESTABLISHMENT OF PRIORITIES [Approximately 100 WORDS]
The initiative created by Martinway and funded by all levels of government was to raise the standards of energy efficiency,sustainability and quality of life. This was accomplished through an organized North American based sustainability program called "LEED" (leadership in energy and environmental design). The goal was to achieve the highest environmental benchmark of "Platinum Certification" which has never been accomplished on a multi-residential social housing project ever. The second goal was to design and implement superior standards (beyond the National Standards) for people with disabilities. To accomplish this the additional costs of approx. $3,6000,000 million Canadian Dollars was mitigated through the involvement of Corporate Sponsorship. Finally, the most important goal accomplished was the creation of a greater educational awareness of what social housing is all about and to gain an appreciation of the need for more housing.This was the underlying goal accomplished through Corporate Participation to achieve high sustainability and disability standards.
FORMULATION OF OBJECTIVES AND STRATEGIES
The main objectives were set by Martinway Contracting through its internally created Corporate Sponsorship Program. The main objective was to create a greater awareness for the need of Affordable Housing. The strategy created by Martinway was to set high environmental standards for the project thus attracting local, national and international corporate involvement. Through their involvement Martinway held educational sessions with the sponsors to guide and inform them of how their contributions are assisting in the improvement of quality of life for the tenants. Through these sessions the corporate entities gained a greater appreciation for the cause which resulted in further involvement on other projects. New policies were set to create tax incentive for corporate contributions. Local government assisted by the waiver of all taxes associated with the capital cost of the project.
MOBILISATION OF RESOURCES
The financial funding for the conventional project came from both the Provincial and federal government. the difference with this project was that to achieve such a high sustainable green building and to acquire the "Platinum" certification required an additional$3,600,000.00. These funds were raised through the General Contractors internally created Corporate Sponsorship Program (Martinway Developments). With over 45 Corporate Sponsors which were either local, National or International all participated to mitigate the additional funds required to achieve the certification.
As you may know sometimes its not actual monetary funding that is required but yet understanding that each corporation can contribute in its own positive way. An example of this is the use of paint in the building was required to be VOC free (Free of Volitile Organic Compounds). These paints are typically more expensive than the paint specified for this project. In order to mitigate the cost, the paint company gave the upgraded paint for the specified paint price. The difference in cost was mitigated as their corporate contributions.
This method was used in order to mitigate 95% of the additional cost required. Of the $3,600,000 required only $250,000 was raised in cash. This was a major accomplishment and a method that could be replicated anywhere in the world.
Actual money that was raised was first delivered to the client which was the Region of Peel. The funds were documented and then reinserted back into the building contract specifying exactly what the funds were purchasing that met the LEED criteria.
Since the Chapelview Project was a conventional building project, once the builder approached the client to offer an upgraded building at no additional cost, the client was exceptionally hesitant in accepting the offer. Government workers typically worry about keeping the status quo so that their jobs never is in a position of jeopardy. To resolve the issue, I had no choice but to approach the issue through a political channel which then allowed the opportunity to be discussed further and then approved to move forward on a cautionary method.
It is often understood that the conventional approach is often the safest way. When offering to do more for less often makes people and especially government organization feel un-easy and always questioning the motives behind the offer.
In total over 45 Corporate Clients contributed to the cause of achieving LEED. In addition, there were many organizations which donated many products as gifts to the low-income tenants that would be occupying these residential units. In order to distribute all of the products,many individuals rallied to separate the products and deliver them to the tenants once they moved in. As an example, the paint supplier prepared a gift bag for all of the tenants. In the bag was a quart of paint that matched their unit walls, a can opener, a stir stick and a paint hat and brush. Many of the corporation that contributed did the same. In fact, food companies that had no participation in the LEED Program simple donated food product to the tenants because they felt that it was the right thing to do.
With respect to making decisions and keep a scorecard, all of this was managed by a group of some 10 individuals from the Engineering company that was preparing the final submission to the"Canadian Green building Council" for final evaluation and certification. The score cards were set out well before we commenced construction and updated every month. The scorecard was required to monitor all of the upgraded electrical, mechanical and structural systems mandatory for the certification. Prior to occupancy, full commissioning and verification of all the systems were inspected and operated to justify clearance.
With respect to the contribution of all these items,a separate score card was kept whereby each upgraded or new required item was tabulated and recorded indicated whom the donor was and what the value of their contribution was. Both of these scorecards ran together because both were required in order for success to be achieved.
Since full occupancy, it has been almost 18 months.Based on the LEED Program, continual monitoring of all the building components have been recorded on a monthly bases. These results together with the original Energy modelling simulation have resulted in the entire building functioning better than anticipated. The annual energy savings exceed $100,000 per year. In addition the quality of life for each individual tenant has been elevated to the highest standards possible. Each individual apartment unit receives 100%free clean air ever 20 minutes because of the combined packaged fan coil/HRVunit (Heat Recovery Ventilator. All of the wood used in the entire building was UREA Formaldehyde Free) therefore there is no off-gassing of any chemicals in the wood or in the paint.
In conclusion, this entire process required the help of many individuals. Men, women and students all participated in their own special way in order to accomplish all of these goals.
On the Chapelview Project all of the objectives were realized because on a continuous monitoring process as discussed in the previous question. In addition, the monitoring continued well beyond occupancy an still being monitored today almost 18 months after completion.
Up on achieving occupancy there were two final tabulation lists that were put together. The first was the financial accumulation of cash and in-kind products that were given to the project in order to achieve its objectives. Secondly, another list was tabulated that keep the evaluative LEED points in check so that we would always be on track. Today,since the project is being occupied, continual tracking is taking place of all the cutting edge technological equipment provided and there lifelong performance and pay-back. With respect to the tenants, there are regular educational meetings with them to guide and educate them on how to maintain their units with the highest quality products. This helps to maintain the apartment units and gives each tenant a real sense of high regards and respect for what they have.
The winners in this project is the owner, The Region of Peel with substantial monetary savings annually and much of its reserve fund will remain in tact because of longer replacement value of the building components. In addition, the tenants are the biggest winners. We have given them a home which far exceeds the standards of most million dollar homes any where in North America. The quality of life has improved tremendously for each individual
All of the Corporate Clients are also now anxious to be involved again. The beautiful story here is that through their sponsorship we have taught them and made them intimate about the increase need for affordable housing and special needs housing. This was a great accomplishment.In addition, this project took world stage and recently was awarded the"Energy Globe Award" from Austria as the best project in Canada.Locally, this project also won 6 other local and National awards.
The trend now is among politician to continue to take chances and replicate this initiative is now in place and attitudes by all have changed to great believers that we can accomplish goals
The Chapelview Project was a labor of love. The required financial funds was mitigated through corporate sponsorship and for this reason will not have to be repaid. The client, The region of Peel and the building tenants will be the largest receipts of the benefits of this project. Having said this, it would be critical that all of the parties understand that part of the accomplishment was not just to experience this International success but also find ways in which it can be replicated. One of the greatest experiences of this project was the extent of willingness to give by the corporate community. This resource is one that has yet been tested. Our success on this project only demonstrated that it is possible to achieve great things with corporate assistance but, how far can this act of altruism go? On a current project I am further testing in greater depth the extent of corporate contributions. We have asked each of the contributors to consider donating $200per month for a per of 5 years to assist individuals who are currently on the waiting list because of subsidy requirements. The success rate is almost 100%. On a 200 unit building I have sold 20 units for subsidies with very little effort. How far we can go is only understood by the extent that we try.
The cultural aspect of the question is a very interesting one. Although we can provide some of the most effective operating units in a building and design it to the highest standards, the ultimate success is going to be placed in the hands of the tenants. with 200 families in one building and a very wide variety of ethnicity within, success is often questionable. For this reason we have introduced an education component which is on-going to try and teach each tenant on how to maintain and respect the hard work that has been given to this project as a whole. This process is on-going and we have been able to evaluate and monitor the changing behavior of all the tenants. Again this is an on-going process.
Some examples of what is being taught in class will reflect the use of the recycling garbage disposal waste system. On each floor there is an electronic disposal system with three chutes allowing the tenants access to waste--recycled material--organic waste.. Other examples are the use of non-toxic cleaning fluids used for their apartment units. Care for their Energy Star Appliances is another example of what is been taught to each of the tenants.
Although we have been very successful in our initiative we are exceptionally confident that these tools or methods we have developed and used can be transplanted in almost every other country in the world. What I have found to be the most difficult part is convincing others to take the leap of faith and do what is right and just. The nature of doing good and giving back addresses all of the environmental and social aspect of goodness and treated each other with respect. I can say that there was a large amount of opposition from individuals who wanted to see failure. For myself,this only fuels the enthusiasm to continue to do the right thing. Once the goals have been obtained successfully, it is very difficult for critics to come forward.
The first lesson learned is that people in general are "Good". This success of this initiative was based on the kindness and willingness of others to believe that what you want to accomplish is within grasp. This requires passion, dedication and most important the ability to perform the task. raising some $3.6 million dollars was not a difficult task. Because of my dedication to helping the homeless on a full-time basis through the use of my construction company, I can use my tools of influence to get people involved. Although the goal may have been to achieve this Platinum Certification but, my real un-lying goal was to create a greater awareness among our corporate community of the need for more shelter for our poor people.Within the passion there is also a sense of psychology.
The second lesson learned is that giving to people who need help and caring through education and by showing them the way often leads to the creation of leaders in our community. There is nothing more greater than a once poor and homeless individual achieving the goal of helping others. Through our efforts that we have shown in the creation of this LEED Platinum building, we have seen and experienced how people can change and be inspired to rise above all they though they could do.
The third lesson was one of politics and change that can come about. Proving to politicians by demonstration that goals such as this can be achieved results in greater latitude to even explore higher limits on subsequent project. It is a very good position to be in because it can only result in my abilities to help more people in a shorter period of time. I certainly hope to pursue this further.
As I have mentioned my main initiative throughout this entire project was to create a greater awareness of the need for affordable housing and special needs housing in our community. Unfortunately, there is very little attention given by the media and by people in general. For this reason, even in our developed community in Canada we have some 16,000 people on a waiting list for housing.This is a small community. By using the expertise of LEED Consultants and creating awareness within the corporate community of my desires to achieve an Environmental first in North America, gave the back door opportunity of spreading the word of the need for more housing. Although some may refer to this as reverse psychology, it was a tremendous success.
The ability to replicate this initiative is possible anywhere in the world. The major key components are dedication to see the project through and secondly to set the stage of your project by creating a theme that will encourage enthusiasm and willingness to want to be involved. The leader must have a persistent drive to move forward with that dream and never to look back at possible failure. Today, my dream is not only to replicate this model buy add additional elements to it that will lead to greater success. In all of my projects today, I have established a good foundation for environmental initiatives to achieve a Platinum Certification.In addition, I have also established very high standards for people with disabilities within the same building. I have realized that some environmental standards are often complementary to the needs of people with disabilities. The final component to add to this is the ability to raise rent subsidies to help some of those people on the waiting list who require it. This initiative is now occurring on another project.
With these three elements, I have almost created the perfect building that addresses the needs of the disabled individuals, the need of the homeless and the need of the environment and all accomplished through corporate sponsorship. These corporation have a great deal to satisfaction in there involvement. I think this is a very replicable model for any Country in the world.
RELATED POLICY/IES OR LEGISLATION
Initially, this project was more looked upon as a very sore spot. Few politicians were interested in taking the chance to achieve these goals that were considered at first to be unachievable. No project in North America has been successful in achieving was what accomplished in the Chapelview Apartments.. Since the project has been completed there have been several new laws that have been put in practice to encourage other to replicate or do better. The law basically awards cash incentives depending on the levels of certifications achieved on the project. A Platinum Certification such as Chapelview, received a $100,000 award which was also used to mitigate the additional cost require to achieve its goal.
In addition, the building specifications which the region of Peel has designed and used as a standard for construction has changed. The updated specification now incorporates many of the energy efficiencies, quality of air, water conservation and type of materials guidelines prepared by the LEED Organization in Canada to follow best practices. Although it is very onerous, any component used on new buildings construction will only exceed the original standards.
Further to these changes,the Region of Peel has made further changes to the training of property managers and building superintendents. Since we are now dealing with elevated mechanical and electrical components, each building Super will need retraining.As part of our contribution, Martinway has created a video tape which encompasses a tour of the building components and how they each function and troubleshoot. Each piece of equipment is described by a member of the manufacture ring company of the element.
In conclusion the decision making process has all been re-standardized from a political perspective andall management systems modernized to accommodate the new elements.