Quebec developer snags WELL certification for Le Huppé project
The Quebec City project has 187 units designed with human well-being in mind.
Le Huppé has been recognized as Canada’s first gold-level WELL-certified residential building. – Immostar Inc.
- The condo complex design was inspired by biophilia concepts.
- The developers hope Quebec can be an example of what sustainable, responsible construction can be.
- The WELL standard, unlike LEED, solely focuses on the well-being of those inside the building by evaluating concepts like air, water, nourishment, luminosity, thermal comfort, movement, sound, materials, mind, community and innovation.
The Whole Story:
Le Huppé, a rental condo complex in Quebec City is the first residential building in Canada to receive Gold level WELL certification.
The WELL program is run by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI). Certification is carried out by the same independent organization that does LEED, Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI). Unlike LEED, WELL certification is the first standard that focuses on the health and well-being of the people inside the building. Projects are reviewed by a team that ensures that the building and its environment adhere to the 10 major WELL concepts: air, water, nourishment, luminosity, thermal comfort, movement, sound, materials, mind, community and innovation. The standard also has more than 100 individual indicators ranging from performance standards and design strategies to specific operational procedures.
The team behind Le Huppé, Immostar and its partner Fiera Real Estate, explained that a major inspiration for the project’s design was the concept of biophilia – the human affinity for living things and natural systems. This meant it should include optimal access to natural light, views of the outdoors, and materials and textures reminiscent of the natural environment.
“The pandemic has sharpened our focus on wellness and underlined the importance of helping people stay healthy,” said François Pelchat, partner and vice-president of development and marketing at Immostar. “Along with our partner Fiera Real Estate, we have made it our mission to drive change in the real estate industry and help improve the lives of residents. The WELL standard is not merely cosmetic. It is a real paradigm shift. It’s up to us, as leaders in Quebec’s real estate industry, to set an example and show how important it is to consider environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria when investing in projects.”
Pelchat added that society is becoming more aware that buildings have a large carbon footprint, both through the use of polluting materials and through the consumption of resources and energy.
“The real estate industry can make a significant contribution to achieving emission reduction targets – and socially engaged buildings are how,” he added. “These buildings are the new way forward for real estate. They meet the needs of a clientele that cares about the environment and their community.”
Some of strategies used to achieve the certification included:
- Improved air and water quality treatment.
- Increased natural light through generously sized windows and glare control in all living spaces and in the condos themselves.
- Lighting and temperature controlled by the occupant in all common areas.
- Signs offering health, nutrition and workout tips throughout the building.
- A shared library space.
- Promotion of physical activity through an inviting and fun staircase design.
- A variety of indoor and outdoor common spaces that encourage interaction and community.