Smart Densification in Action: 22 du Barry

We are excited to share that our multi-residential project at 22 du Barry is now complete! This recent development for GMR Construction will be under the management of Halfred, a local property agent, and is an excellent example of how smart densification can be achieved in an existing urban setting through innovative and sustainable construction practices.

Located in the heart of Gatineau, this project involved the construction of two 24-unit buildings sharing an underground parking structure, with a total of 48 units spread across four storeys.

What makes this project notable is the implementation of smart densification principles. Smart densification is based on the key principle of utilizing existing voids in the urban fabric which are preferably not occupied by natural landscape such as large exterior parking areas. More often than not, these areas create large heat islands which increase the daytime temperature and air-pollution levels. These strategic areas offer great opportunities for additional development within existing neighbourhoods where proposed projects can be built at a height that is respectfully higher than it’s surrounding context.

The project implements principles that help to minimize energy use and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The buildings were constructed using wood framing, which not only reduces the carbon footprint of the construction process but also creates a more sustainable and energy-efficient building. These are essential components for combating climate change and creating a more sustainable future.

A main goal of this development was also to help fight the on-going housing crisis in the National Capital Region. To do this, the new buildings were developed on previous above-grade parking. Our team was able to maximize the soft landscape on the site by moving the parking underground and opting for a shared structure, which optimized the use of space and allowed for green space to be maintained.

Designed to match with the existing community while also providing additional leasable space, a flat roof construction was implemented. This allowed for the building height to be one storey higher than the neighbouring buildings but still match them stylistically. To help increase the building’s integration within the community, materials and colours were selected to complement the neighbouring buildings all while allowing the new construction to possess a more modern aesthetic.

Through an optimized open-floorplan unit design, the unutilized space inside the units such as corridors was minimized. By doing this the overall area of each unit was reduced and enabled an increase in the number of units on each floor.

When done strategically, smart densification like the 22 du Barry development can help limit negative impacts to the built environment and protect the natural environment.

From drafting and design through construction, we’re thrilled to see our team’s hard work brought to life.