The mixed-income apartment complex that will replace the demolished “Jelly Bean” buildings at the corner of Wellington Row and Union Street will set a new environmental and design standard for buildings in the uptown core, says the general manager of Saint John Non Profit Housing.
“It’s going to be a very innovative and attractive building that we hope other builders emulate in the future,” said Narinder Singh in an interview.
Acre Architects did the conceptual drawings that were made public last year, and the Saint John firm is now doing more detailed design work, determining things like how many units there will be and how they’ll be laid out in the building.
They’re also looking into how they can maximize the energy efficiency of the building, and considering how it could be constructed to meet the Passive House Standard, a design approach developed in Germany and Sweden in the 1990s to deliver large reductions in the energy used for heating and cooling buildings.
Key features of this kind of design are a compact building shape, high levels of insulation in exterior walls, roofs, and under foundations, and high-performance windows to minimize air leaks.
Singh says they have a mortgage broker looking at the financing options but things won’t be firmed up until they have detailed drawings and construction estimates for the complex, which he says could cost around $7-million to build.
The building will be a 50/50 mix of subsidized- and market-rent units with a commercial business on the ground floor. They are planning for 42 units, but “could go higher to make the numbers work” for the building.
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