Belvedere’s trajectory: from brown field to a sustainable community

 

Belvedere is a residential neighbourhood in north east Edmonton that began making its mark near the turn of the century. The triangle-shaped neighbourhood has the Canadian National Railway right of way along the south-east side, 137 Avenue on the north, and 66 Avenue on the west. Fort Road cuts through the neighbourhood close to the south-east boundary—a roadway developed commercially from the time wagons made the journey between Fort Saskatchewan and Edmonton, beginning with the opening of the Swift Company Packing Plant in 1908. Portions of Belvedere were originally part of the village of North Edmonton, which was annexed to Edmonton in 1910.

 

Residential development began in Belvedere before the end of World War II; however, the majority of the residential development occurred during the 1950s and 1960s. In the 1970s, the City of Edmonton saw potential in the Belvedere area, and, with the development of the LRT system, placed a transit stop in the heart of the area—the hope of planners and civic officials was that the LRT station would act as a catalyst for further redevelopment. Unfortunately, these initial efforts were marginalized in the 1980s when both meat packing plants were closed, resulting in many related commercial businesses to also close.

 

Fast forward to the early 2000s when the City of Edmonton, in collaboration with the Fort Road Business Association and Community Association, took on a revitalization plan for the Fort Road area in collaboration with the Fort Road Business Association and Community Association. The plan included the widening of Fort Road and the redevelopment of the lands south of the Belvedere LRT station into a transit-oriented mixed-use residential and commercial community—all of this to establish the pattern of land use and development, which favours ridership of the light rail transit, and to provide clear allocation of municipal and private opportunities and responsibilities concerning redevelopment of the Belvedere Redevelopment Area.

 

Today, the revitalization is well underway with the new Station Pointe subdivision—at one time a brown field industrial park. The area was designed to be a transit-oriented community, of which the LRT is an integral part of the development, which includes bike and walking trails. In the heart of the Fort Road revitalization is the Station Pointe Village, a multi-generational development that caters to first-time homebuyers, to parents with children, to the downsizing adult. Construction is slated to begin before the end of 2015.

 

Station Pointe Village by BCM DEVELOPMENTS LTD. will be a sustainably built development. The buildings will be constructed using less than one percent of wood and with a minimum of 80% percent post-consumer recycled materials. Using the Patented Fortis LGS building system, a light gauge steel framing systems, all building components such as the walls, floors, and trusses are factory-built by using pre-engineered computer aided / automated production. All prefabricated components are then pre-assembled in their warehouse, which allows for higher quality control. Other benefits of steel-framed structures include:

 

  • Combustible qualities enable a steel framed house to resist such devastating events as fire, earthquakes, and hurricanes.
  • Light-steel framing materials are perfectly straight and consistent in quality—structural steel studs, floor joists, and roof trusses do not expand or contract, shrink, warp, or twist over time. This reduces the risks of drywall damage, nail popping, door jambs, sagging windows, and air gaps.
  • Steel framing is unaffected by temperature and humidity changes, making your home more stable and durable.
  • Steel is free from resin adhesives and chemicals normally present in other framing materials. Steel framing does not off-gas or sustain mould growth, as wood products do, thus promoting better indoor air quality
  • Steel roof structures support up to 30% higher snow loads than conventionally framed roofs.

 

With a continued focus on sustainable building practices, these homes will also be BUILT GREEN® certified. This third-party certification addresses energy efficiency as a fundamental component of the home, integrating the EnerGuide label through Natural Resources Canada, Built Green Canada goes beyond energy efficiency, moving the industry toward a more holistic approach to sustainable building practices. An approach that includes the preservation of natural resources, reduction of pollution, ventilation and air quality, and the improvement of home durability. As such, members and their customers get a two-in-one: the BUILT GREEN® seal and the EnerGuide label.

 

For those living in a BUILT GREEN® home, there are many advantages, including living in a healthier, more durable home with a lower environmental impact, with a reduction in monthly operating costs, and rebates. A healthier home environment means improved health and comfort for your family, as there is less stress on the respiratory and immune systems. For those with allergies, benefits can be significant. These homes have a significant reduction of drafts, cold spots, and temperature variance from room to room, due to the program’s attention to the home’s air tightness and ventilation. Also, one of the most overlooked aspects of a sustainably built home is durability. BUILT GREEN® homes can feature a wide variety of durable features to ensure that the home does not require substantial renovations every five years.

 

Homebuyers looking at a purchase in Station Pointe will enjoy the many benefits of living in a steel-constructed home through the LGS building system in addition to the benefits of BUILT GREEN® certification.

 

For more information on Station Pointe: www.stationpointe.com

For more information on Built Green Canada and its programs: www.builtgreencanada.ca

Source: City of Edmonton, Belvedere Community League, and Fortis LGS Structures Ltd.