Greystone Village

Ottawa, Ontario

July 9, 2009

Rating System/Standard
LEED 2009
Certification Level
Silver
Building Type
Mixed-use

Situated on one of the last and largest infill sites in a historic part of Ottawa, the Greystone Village project represented an ideal opportunity to leverage LEED certification to create a vibrant, sustainable district that builds a strong connection to the surrounding areas, while incorporating the many cultural, environmental and heritage elements valued by the local community.

The 26-acre riverside mixed master-planned neighbourhood achieved a LEED v4 Neighbourhood Development: Plan Silver certification in July 2018, becoming the first project in Ontario to certify under the LEED v4 ND rating system.

CaGBC spoke with Erin O’Connor, Manager of Land Development with the project’s owner, Regional Group, about how the project team has been able to realize the vision of a highly community-centric development.

Bridging gaps in a historic community

Greystone Village is located in the thriving established community of Old Ottawa East, an area with a 100 year history that is close to the capital’s downtown core. Surrounding the iconic Edifice Deschâtelets Scholasticate Monastery, the project’s site provides green space, local community gardens, and views of the Rideau River, making the location an important landmark for the surrounding community.

“Not only is this site important historically and culturally, but it serves as a connectivity bridge for the fabric of Old Ottawa East’s existing neighbourhoods,” says O’Connor.

In consultations with the local community prior to purchasing the site from the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Regional Group clearly heard that retention of heritage elements, sustainability and preservation or remediation in the natural environment were at the top of the list in the vision for the redevelopment of the lands.

As such, the challenge was to create a community that incorporates all the cultural and historical elements surrounding the neighbourhood, as well as developing a sustainable design with a low carbon footprint. The list of desired green features for the project included:

  • Stormwater management innovations;
  • Compact development;
  • Wetland conservation;
  • Wildlife habitat restoration;
  • Sustainable landscape design;
  • Preservation of historic buildings;
  • Provision for alternative transportation; and
  • Overall connectivity and interactivity with the surrounding community.

The pursuit of LEED v4 ND Silver certification and the resulting master plan demonstrates Regional Group’s commitment to the greater community of Old Ottawa East and Sustainable Living Ottawa East in developing a sustainable neighbourhood that welcome and integrates both the public and private realms, says O’Connor.

This master plan fills a previously existing gap in the fabric of the community by creating a pedestrian and street network with community linkages to and through the site, to a wide naturalized riverside habitat for the public’s enjoyment.

Breathing new life and new opportunity into an established neighbourhood

O’Connor adds that the project transforms the community into a complete integrated neighbourhood, creating a multigenerational, demographically diverse community, including multiple mixed-use commercial opportunities along the main street and Greystone Village’s Grand Allée.

At the heart of the new development is the Deschâtelets building, which will be repurposed to serve local residents with community amenities and services. Greystone Village preserves the flavour of the original heritage design and utilizes the Deschâtelets building as its central organizing principle, with the Grand Allée and a formal tree-lined Forecourt serving as a distinctly urban park, as well as the “living room” of Old Ottawa East.

The project is designed around cultural and natural environmental features, with the aim of supporting community and public realm interaction. With abundant green space, and both new and existing parks and open areas incorporated into and surrounding Greystone Village, the neighbourhood is intentionally designed with elements to promote a healthier lifestyle and community engagement.

For example, the green space is intended to serve as a sort of “backyard” for residents who have chosen condominiums or homes where the traditional suburban backyard model has been replaced with parking. As well, the community is designed to minimize the use of vehicular traffic and encourage the use of public transit, walking and biking. On-street vehicle parking for residents and visitors is limited, with the majority served underground or in rear lane garages.

Creating diversity is also a key priority highlighted in the plan, with a variety of residential unit types and tenures on offer, from small and large apartments and condos, townhouses and row housing, to single-detached homes, as well as a retirement residence.

Finally, the neighbourhood’s design incorporates numerous additional features to enhance environmental and community aspects, including:

  • Remediation of a designated brownfield site;
  • Application of deeper and better soil mix in the tree wells;
  • Innovative civil servicing methods used to promote not only tree longevity and health but also to allow for more trees to be planted;
  • Low-impact development methods such as using native vegetation garden beds in place of grass, as well as rain barrels to capture rooftop drainage;
  • Unique street cross sections to encourage compact lanes; and
  • Larger boulevards for safer pedestrian movement and connectivity.

Project included extensive public consultation and building stakeholder relationships

O’Connor attributes the success of the project to the fact that all stakeholders worked together closely throughout the approvals process. The pursuit of LEED ND certification served to further highlight the importance of establishing these relationships, which fits in well with Regional Group’s core values.

Building green and developing a LEED v4 ND Silver community speaks to Regional Group’s purpose of building communities and shaping real estate using innovation, expertise and enduring relationships,” says O’Connor. “The result is a more cohesive and universally endorsed plan established through long-term community relationships.

LEED SCORE CARD

Certification LevelSilver
Rating SystemLEED v4 ND: Plan
Total Points earned53
Smart Location & Linkage14 out of 28
Neighbourhood Pattern & Design24 out of 41
Green Infrastructure & Buildings29 out of 35
Innovation & Design Process9 out of 31
Indoor Environmental Quality2 out of 6
Regional Priority4 out of 4

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