The Armory Goes Platinum
Cove Properties embraces opportunity of municipal requirement
If you were to walk through Calgary’s historic Currie community—formerly Currie Barracks—you would find a four story, 58-unit condo by the name of The Armory. Builder, Cove Properties incorporated a brick-and-mortar exterior, this in keeping with the area’s historic buildings and the community’s military heritage—one of the many details of the project that was carefully scrutinized.
The re-development of the former Currie Barracks Canadian Forces base marks one of Canada’s largest urban redevelopment projects. This piece of the master-planned inner city community is an adult-living building, marketed as a downsizer’s dream. Though there’s plenty of space and storage per unit—including an exterior storage area—the development offers a design that can help folks transition into a more appropriate space for their lifestyle.
When Canada Lands sold the land for redevelopment, it was with the caveat that builders construct their projects through a sustainable building program. Though Cove Properties had been an energy conscious builder for years, this would be their first certification through Built Green Canada—a holistic program that addresses energy efficiency and then goes beyond to the preservation of natural resources, reduction of pollution, ventilation and air quality, and the improvement of home durability. This municipal requirement offered the Cove team an opportunity, which they readily embraced.
Doug Mazurek, President at Cove Properties, says there were a number of lessons in going through the process. “We have a good understanding of where industry is headed toward being more environmentally conscious and what that means. We want to continue as a builder who embraces sustainability practices and remains committed to progress.
Practically speaking—in working to elevate our BUILT GREEN® certification level, we developed better systems and looked at techniques and products to improve the build.” Mazurek says that there were a lot of products and services used in the process that they hadn’t factored in as impacting the project’s footprint, and there were areas where they had to look closer; however, he says, “It was nice to see how many of our techniques and materials were already beyond the standards”.
Meanwhile, the trades they worked with were learning too; when a builder ups the ante, so do the people they work with. The result was that the Cove team came out with a building that achieved BUILT GREEN® Platinum certification—a positive for Cove Properties, as well as the industry and the homeowners who have purchased in The Armory.
Beyond showcasing Cove Properties’ work, the process was also good for the employees. The project managers and site staff had a keen interest in doing Built Green and what that meant to the quality of their project. “We were proud of what we were doing—contributing to building better,” says Mazurek.
Moreover, when The Armory hit the market, it wasn’t long until it was virtually sold out, as homeowners increasingly recognize the value of a sustainable build. The combination of beautiful architecture and environmental performance shown in The Armory is another example of sustainable building and superior design going hand-in-hand.