Set to occupy an entire city block — bound by Viger Avenue and De Bleury, De La Gauchetière and Hermine streets — Cogir Group have announced that their mixed-use HUMANITI development is targeting WELL certification as the cornerstone of its “smart vertical living concept.” Now under construction in central Montreal, the project features a design by Lemay+ CHA, which is predicated on an environmentally sustainable and digitally integrated approach.
Featuring retail, office space, and an eight-story hotel at the lower levels, the majority of the h-shaped complex will be occupied by a mix of rental apartments and condominiums. In addition to comprehensive green roof coverage, shared bicycle and electric car services, and a variety of communal amenity areas, the project will include a custom mobile app, facilitating the automation and programming of home energy systems, allowing occupants to directly monitor and control the living environment in real-time. In addition, presence sensors throughout each home are designed to minimize wasted energy.
For the Cogir Group, the WELL standards — which take a more holistic approach that looks beyond the performance of the building envelope and the mechanical systems, while coexisting alongside the more widely known LEED certification system — are being celebrated as a metric for livability, sustainability, and economic productivity.
Mathieu Duguay, President of COGIR Immobilier and promoter of HUMANITI, noted that a Conference Board of Canada study estimated absenteeism costs for the Canadian economy at $16.6 billion in 2012 alone. In a similar vein, the Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Montréal has cited research results from Chrysalis Performance Inc. showing that workplace stress accounts for 19% of absenteeism costs, 40% of staff turnover costs, 55% of employee assistance program (EAP) costs, 60% of work accidents, 10% of prescription drug insurance plan costs, and 100% of stress-related lawsuits.
“While these statistics mostly pertain to workplaces, in our case the health of our customers and tenants is fundamental,” Mr. Duguay says. “That’s why we are seeking WELL Multifamily Residential Certification for HUMANITI. When our tenants move in,
they will find a living environment that’s optimal for their health and wellness. This initial certification push will surely have an impact on all components of the project. The experience will provide valuable input for our actions going forward.”