SITUATIONBEFORE THE INITIATIVE BEGAN [Approximately 50 WORDS]
Affordable Housing and Special Needs Housing is amajor concern in the Region of Peel. In this geographical area with apopulation 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 manyunderprivileged groups because it created hope, inspiration and most importantawareness in our communities and across the Country of Canada.---"Allthings are possible"
ESTABLISHMENTOF PRIORITIES [Approximately 100 WORDS]
The initiative created by Martinway and funded byall levels of government was to raise the standards of energy efficiency,sustainability and quality of life. This was accomplished through an organizedNorth American based sustainability program called "LEED" (leadershipin energy and environmental design). The goal was to achieve the highestenvironmental benchmark of "Platinum Certification" which has neverbeen accomplished on a multi-residential social housing project ever. Thesecond goal was to design and implement superior standards (beyond the NationalStandards) for people with disabilities. To accomplish this the additionalcosts of approx. $3,6000,000 million Canadian Dollars was mitigated through theinvolvement of Corporate Sponsorship. Finally, the most important goalaccomplished was the creation of a greater educational awareness of what socialhousing is all about and to gain an appreciation of the need for more housing.This was the underlying goal accomplished through Corporate Participation toachieve high sustainability and disability standards.
FORMULATIONOF OBJECTIVES AND STRATEGIES
The main objectives were set by MartinwayContracting through its internally created Corporate Sponsorship Program. Themain objective was to create a greater awareness for the need of AffordableHousing. The strategy created by Martinway was to set high environmentalstandards for the project thus attracting local, national and internationalcorporate involvement. Through their involvement Martinway held educationalsessions with the sponsors to guide and inform them of how their contributionsare assisting in the improvement of quality of life for the tenants. Throughthese sessions the corporate entities gained a greater appreciation for thecause which resulted in further involvement on other projects. New policieswere set to create tax incentive for corporate contributions. Local governmentassisted by the waiver of all taxes associated with the capital cost of theproject.
The financial funding for the conventional projectcame from both the Provincial and federal government. the difference with thisproject was that to achieve such a high sustainable green building and toacquire the "Platinum" certification required an additional$3,600,000.00. These funds were raised through the General Contractorsinternally created Corporate Sponsorship Program (Martinway Developments). Withover 45 Corporate Sposnors which were either local, National or Internationalall participated to mitigate the additional funds required to achieve thecertification.
As you may know sometimes its not actual monetaryfunding that is required but yet understanding that each corporation cancontribute in its own positive way. An example of this is the use of paint inthe building was required to be VOC free (Free of Volitile Organic Compounds).These paints are typically more expensive than the paint specificed for thisproject. In order to mitigate the cost, the paint company gave the upgradedpaint for the specified paint price. The difference in cost was mitigated astheir corporate contributions.
This method was used in order to mitigate 95% of theadditional cost required. Of the $3,600,000 required only $250,000 was raisedin cash. This was a major accomplishment and a method that could be replicatedanywhere in the world.
Actual money that was raised was first delivered tothe client which was the Region of Peel. The funds were documented and thenreinserted back into the building contract specifying exactly what the fundswere purchasing that met the LEED criteria.
Since the Chapelview Project was a conventionalbuilding project, once the builder approached the client to offer an upgradedbuilding at no additional cost, the client was exceptionally hesitant inaccepting the offer. Government workers typically worry about keeping thestatus quo so that their jobs never is in a position of jeporady. To resolvethe issue, I had no choice but to approach the issue through a politicalchannel which then allowed the opportunity to be discussed further and thenapproved to move forward on a cautionary method.
It is often understood that the conventionalapproach is often the safest way. When offering to do more for less often makespeople and especially government organization feel un-easy and alwaysquestioning the motives behind the offer.
In total over 45 Corporate Clients contributed tothe cause of achieving LEED. In addition, there were many organizations whichdonated many products as gifts to the low-income tenants that would beoccupying these residential units. In order to distribute all of the products,many individuals rallied to separate the products and deliver them to thetenants once they moved in. As an example, the paint supplier prepared a giftbag for all of the tenants. In the bag was a quart of paint that matched theirunit walls, a can opener, a stir stick and a paint hat and brush. Many of thecorporation that contributed did the same. In fact, food companies that had noparticipation in the LEED Program simple donated food product to the tenantsbecause they felt that it was the right thing to do.
With respect to making decisions and keep ascorecard, all of this was managed by a group of some 10 individuals from theEngineering company that was preparing the final submission to the"Canadian Green building Council" for final evaluation andcertification. The score cards were set out well before we commencedconstruction and updated every month. The scorecard was required to monitor allof the upgraded electrical, mechanical and structural systems mandatory for thecertification. Prior to occupancy, full commissioning and verification of allthe 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 wastabulated and recorded indicated whom the donor was and what the value of theircontribution was. Both of these scorecards ran together because both wererequired 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 componentshave been recorded on a monthly bases. These results together with the originalEnergy modelling simulation have resulted in the entire building functioningbetter than anticipated. The annual energy savings exceed $100,000 per year. Inaddition the quality of life for each individual tenant has been elevated tothe 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 wasUREA Formaldehyde Free) therefore there is no off-gasing of any chemicals inthe wood or in the paint.
In conclusion, this entire process required the helpof many individuals. Men, women and students all participated in their ownspecial way in order to accomplish all of these goals.
On the Chapelview Project all of the objectives wererealized because on a continuous monitoring process as discussed in theprevious question. In addition, the monitoring continued well beyond occupancyan still being monitored today almost 18 months after completion.
Up on achieving occupancy there were two finaltabulation lists that were put together. The first was the financialaccumulation of cash and in-kind products that were given to the project inorder to achieve its objectives. Secondly, another list was tabulated that keepthe 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 allthe cutting edge technological equipment provided and there lifelong performanceand pay-back. With respect to the tenants, there are regular educationalmeetings with them to guide and educate them on how to maintain their unitswith the highest quality products. This helps to maintain the apartment unitsand gives each tenant a real sense of high regards and respect for what theyhave.
The winners in this project is the owner, The Regionof Peel with substantial monetary savings annually and much of its reserve fundwill remain in tact because of longer replacement value of the buildingcomponents. In addition, the tenants are the biggest winners. We have giventhem a home which far exceeds the standards of most million dollar homesanywhere in North America. The quality of life has improved tremendously foreach individual
All of the Corporate Clients are also now anxious tobe involved again. The beautiful story here is that through their sponsorshipwe have taught them and made them intimate about the increase need foraffordable 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 totake chances and replicate this initiative is now in place and attitudes by allhave changed to great believers that we can accomplish goals
The Chapelview Project was a labour of love. Therequired financial funds was mitigated through corporate sponsorship and forthis reason will not have to be repaid. The client, The region of Peel and thebuilding tenants will be the largest receipts of the benefits of this project. Havingsaid this, it would be critical that all of the parties understand that part ofthe accomplishment was not just to experience this International success butalso find ways in which it can be replicated. One of the greatest experiencesof this project was the extent of willingness to give by the corporatecommunity. This resource is one that has yet been tested. Our success on thisproject only demonstrated that it is possible to achieve great things withcorporate assistance but, how far can this act of altruism go? On a currentproject I am further testing in greater depth the extent of corporatecontributions. 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 thewaiting 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 littleeffort. How far we can go is only understood by the extent that we try.
The cultural aspect of the question is a veryinteresting one. Although we can provide some of the most effective operatingunits in a building and design it to the highest standards, the ultimatesuccess is going to be placed in the hands of the tenants. with 200 families in one building and a verywide variety of ethnicity within, success is often questionable. For thisreason we have introduced an education component which is on-going to try andteach each tenant on how to maintain and respect the hard work that has beengiven to this project as a whole. This process is on-going and we have beenable to evaluate and monitor the changing behaviour of all the tenants. Againthis is an on-going process.
Some examples of what is being taught in class willreflect the use of the recycling garbage disposal waste system. On each floorthere is an electronic disposal system with three chutes allowing the tenantsaccess to waste--recycled material--organic waste.. Other examples are the useof non-toxic cleaning fluids used for their apartment units. Care for theirEnergy Star Appliances is another example of what is been taught to each of thetenants.
Although we have been very successful in ourinitiative we are exceptionally confident that these tools or methods we havedeveloped and used can be transplanted in almost every other country in theworld. What I have found to be the most difficult part is convincing others totake the leap of faith and do what is right and just. The nature of doing goodand giving back addresses all of the environmental and social aspect ofgoodness and treated each other with respect. I can say that there was a largeamount of opposition from individuals who wanted to see failure. For myself,this only feuls the enthusiasm to continue to do the right thing. Once thegoals have been obtained successfully, it is very difficult for critics to comeforward.
The first lesson learned is that people in generalare "Good". This success of this initiative was based on the kindnessand willingness of others to beklieve that what you want to accomplish iswithin grasp. This requires passion, dedication and most important the abilityto perform the task. raising some $3.6 million dollars was not a difficulttask. Because of my dedication to helping the homeless on a full-time basisthrough the use of my construction company, I can use my tools of influence toget people involved. Although the goal may have been to achieve this PlatinumCertification but, my real un-lying goal was to create a greater awarenessamong 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 peoplewho need help and caring through education and by showing them the way oftenleads to the creation of leaders in our community. There is nothing moregreater than a once poor and homeless individual achieving the goal of helpingothers. Through our efforts that we have shown in the creation of this LEEDPlatinum building, we have seen and experienced how people can change and beinspired to rise above all they though they could do.
The third lesson was one of politics and change thatcan come about. Proving to politicians by demonstration that goals such as thiscan be achieved results in greater latitude to even explore higher limits onsubsequent project. It is a very good position to be in because it can onlyresult in my abilities to help more people in a shorter period of time. Icertainly hope to persue this further.
AsI have mentioned my main initiative throughout this entire project was tocreate a greater awareness of the need for affordable housing and special needshousing in our community. Unfortunately, there is very little attention givenby the media and by people in general. For this reason, even in our developedcommunity 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 andcreating awareness within the corporate community of my desires to achieve anEnvironmental first in North America, gave the back door opportunity ofspreading the word of the need for more housing. Although some may refer tothis as reverse psychology, it was a tremendous success.
The ability to replicate thisinitiative is possible anywhere in the world. The major key components arededication to see the project through and secondly to set the stage of yourproject by creating a theme that will encourage enthusiasm and willingness towant to be involved. The leader must have a persistent drive to move forwardwith that dream and never to look back at possible failure. Today, my dream isnot only to replicate this model buy add additional elements to it that willlead to greater success. In all of my projects today, I have established a goodfoundation for environmental initiatives to achieve a Platinum Certification.In addition, I have also established very high standards for people withdisabilities within the same building. I have realized that some environmentalstandards are often complementary to the needs of people with disabilities. Thefinal component to add to this is the ability to raise rent subsidies to helpsome of those people on the waiting list who require it. This initiative is nowoccurring on another project.
With these three elements, I havealmost created the perfect building that addresses the needs of the disabledindividuals, the need of the homeless and the need of the environment and allaccomplished through corporate sponsorship. These corporation have a great dealto satisfaction in there involvement. I think this is a very replicable modelfor any Country in the world.
RELATED POLICY/IES OR LEGISLATION
Initially, this projectwas more looked upon as a very sore spot. Few politicians were interested intaking the chance to achieve these goals that were considered at first to be unachievable. No project in North America has been successful in achieving waswhat accomplished in the Chapelview Apartments.. Since the project has beencompleted there have been several new laws that have been put in practice toencourage other to replicate or do better. The law basically awards cashincentives depending on the levels of certifications achieved on the project. APlatinum Certification such as Chapelview, received a $100,000 award which wasalso used to mitigate the additional cost require to achieve its goal.
In addition, the buildingspecifications which the region of Peel has designed and used as a standard forconstruction has changed. The updated specification now incorporates many ofthe energy efficiencies, quality of air, water conservation and type ofmaterials guidelines prepared by the LEED Organization in Canada to follow bestpractices. Although it is very onerous, any component used on new buildingsconstruction will only exceed the original standards.
Further to these changes,the Region of Peel has made further changes to the training of propertymanagers and building superintendents. Since we are now dealing with elevatedmechanical and electrical components, each building Super will need retraining.As part of our contribution, Martinway has created a video tape whichencompasses a tour of the building components and how they each function andtroubleshoot. Each piece of equipment is described by a member of themanufacture ring company of the element.
In conclusion the decisionmaking process has all been re-standardized from a political perspective andall management systems modernized to accommodate the new elements.