The need for second stage housing for women transitioning out of abusive environments is significant. Because of this, our client began the process of creating a supportive housing apartment for women leaving the emergency shelter. Beairsto & Associates Engineering Ltd. (BASE) was selected by the Grande Prairie Women’s Residence Association to provide the engineering design and contract administration for this project.
The planning and design development involved considerable consultation to determine the special needs of the facility from counseling to security. The project was under constant pressure to be as cost effective as possible while still maintaining functional needs for appropriate living accommodations, program support spaces, and high levels of security. Originally designed to be of modular units assembled on site, it was reduced in size and revised to be of ICF construction. Several energy efficient features, including heat recovery and triple glazed windows, were incorporated to minimize operational costs. The completed building hosts two upper floors of residential apartments and a main floor of offices, support services, and common areas. Construction was completed in September 2015.
Some of the project highlights include:
- 19,320 ft2, consisting of 14 suites ranging in size from one- to three-bedroom, with main floor operational and support spaces
- Unique “flex-suites” allow staff to re-configure size of suites to suit tenant needs
- Strong attention to building security
- Energy efficient ICF block construction throughout to minimize operational costs
- In-floor radiant heat system to maximize user comfort
- Triple-glazed windows with thermally broken vinyl frames to minimize heat loss
- Exhaust air ducted from suites to heat recovery system for energy savings