The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) retained Dunsky’s services to carry out a post occupancy evaluation of the Beaver Barracks affordable housing campus, a 254-unit complex that was built to high-performance standards and which includes a novel third-party owned and operated central geo-exchange. This building is part of an initiative aimed at assessing and comparing various design strategies to determine the best recipe for housing that is affordable to build and operate and provides a high quality of life for residents.

As part of the mandate, the Dunsky team developed and applied a new post occupancy evaluation guide for multi-unit residential buildings for the CMHC, that can help building owners, managers and operators determine the extent to which a building meets their respective needs and expectations. The guide addresses several topics, from performance benchmarking in areas such as energy consumption and indoor air quality, to potential cost saving strategies. It can be used in both new and existing buildings, as well as for buildings with recently completed or planned renovations.

Our evaluation of the Beaver Barracks housing project revealed important findings about its energy and water use, and identified valuable operational improvement and cost saving opportunities. We also tracked and compared its performance in a range of other areas such as thermal comfort in the apartments, interior air-quality, and the building envelope tightness. The study findings have since been captured in a CMHC Research Highlight document.

Similar Projects: Our team has supported a variety of building portfolio owners, including CMHC, RosDev, Old Mission Brewery and others. Our work has included performance auditing, recommissioning, and assistance in achieving improved performance and in meeting established high-performance standards.