Buildings For the Climate Crisis – A Halifax Case Study

This new report “Buildings for the Climate Crisis – A Halifax Case Studyby Peggy Cameron, MES reveals the high levels of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) released up-front by high rise construction, developments, and demolitions. By comparing these to more climate-friendly in-fill buildings (carbon-neutral or carbon-positive) it offers a scenario that are a better match for what society and Earth need at this time.

For the report a Canadian interdisciplinary climate change strategy consultancy Mantle Developments, conducted preliminary estimates of global warming gases associated with:
— two Halifax based proposals;
— the associated demolition of 12-14 historic houses; and,
— a 9-storey in-fill modeled by the citizen’s group Development Options Halifax.
The report details impacts of the present developments on the climate crisis and links this to the affordable housing crisis.

This report proposes options in the path forward including policy recommendations for what needs to change if we are planning for an inclusive society and for environmental remediation. With the release of this report the author aims to encourage all parties to seize this important and timely opportunity to re-think accepted practices of the building, construction, and demolition industry.

Globally, green houses gasses (GHG’s) from the materials and products used to build buildings is 11% as embodied or upfront carbon and approximately 29% as operational carbon from heating, lighting and cooling.

DOWNLOADS:

 

Download Full Report:
Buildings for the Climate Crisis

Download Executive Summary:
Buildings For the Climate Crisis
-Executive Summary

Download for Policy Makers:
Building For the Climate Crisis –
The Path Forward and Recommendation

Media Images Downloads:

Petition to HRM Council: Make Changes to Centre Plan Before Adoption

HRM’s Council holds a final public hearing on the Centre Plan on Tuesday October 26th, 2021. It’s your last chance to ask the Mayor & Council to Plan for All Citizens. 
There are better options! 
Please read, complete the petition found here: forms.gle/VLDhVxEMSCeFTVPA6
And like or share it here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/halifaxcommon/posts/

Before we adopt the Plan we need to:
  • Protect and create affordable housing;
  • Create 3-D models for public consultation in advance of adopting the Plan; 
  • Reduce demolitions – promote renovation and in-fill for distributed density; 
  • Reduce ‘extreme’ densification by lowering proposed building heights in Corridors, Targeted Growth Areas etc.;
  • Create and protect public parks – we need public open space!
  • Tackle the climate crisis with carbon budgets for all building/construction & operations;
  • Require public amenities such as daycares, community centres, recreational facilities etc.

Call to Action: Public Hearings for Multiple Towers, September 7th

HRM is hosting two public hearings on September 7, 6pm (day after Labour Day) via zoom for Case 20761 and Case 22927. There has been huge public opposition to these proposals. This is a bad process. Don’t let it have a bad outcome. For action you can take see below. Ask others to help!

Case 20761 (red): Carlton Block at Robie, Spring Garden, College, Carlton

Case 20761 – Rouvali 28, 29-storey towers are being considered separately from Dexel’s Cast 20218 for 2 ~30-storey towers. Model by Hadrian Laing.

Developer Rouvalis wants TWO TOWERS, 28 and 29 storey + penthouses, at Robie and College. Confusingly, Case 20218 (orange) developer Dexel also wants TWO ~30-storey towers in the same block at Robie and Spring Garden, but these 2 developments are being considered separately. Dexel’s towers will be considered at a future public hearing for the 2 towers. If permitted together the FOUR ~30-storey towers will demolish 12-14 buildings, 100++ affordable units; an area equivalent to a 12-storey building. There will be stalls for ~861 cars. Constructing new towers will emit 31,000 tonnes+ of greenhouse gas. Development Options Halifax has modeled a 9-storey in-fill option that could create ~ 550 units and keep all but one building.

Case 22927 (orange): Willow Tree Block on Robie near Quinpool

Case 22927, Danny Chedrawe’s wants his 23-storey building (orange) between the 25-storey Armoyan / Shannex (red) and the 20-storey Welsford (not shown). This case is being considered separate from other towers ie Shannex/Armoyan, St. Pat’s etc. Model by Hadrian Laing.

A second public hearing on Sept 7th is for 23-storey Chedrawe development on Robie between the 25-storey Armoyan / Shannex and 20-storey Welsford. HRM Staff recommended 6-storeys. Council changed the rules.(https://www.halifaxcommon.ca/cancel-the-proposed-wsp-23-storey-high-rise/In a recent staff report 80% of the public submissions opposed this development. The Willow Tree Group worked for years to have a better process and result.

What you can do:

It’s your city.

 

Electoral Report Card—FHC Grades Electoral Candidates

Friends of the Halifax Common distributed a three-question survey to Halifax Peninsula MLA electoral candidates and political party leaders to determine their commitment to the passage of an ‘Act to Protect the Halifax Common’ similar to the one protecting the Dartmouth Common, as well as two additional questions on future parking garages and on a commitment to reduce and re-naturalize existing parking spaces on the Common.

Report Card on MLA Candidate and Party Leader Responses

Green Party – A
New Democratic Party – B
Liberal Party – F
Progressive Conservative Party – F

Details here:
Continue reading

FHC Submission to HRM Review of Regional Plan

We are deeply concerned about recent incursions into the Halifax Common…

The Halifax Common grant in 1763 was for 235 acres ” to and for the use of the inhabitants of the town of Halifax as Common, forever.” This entire area was to be considered for planning purposes in the 1994 Halifax Common Plan.

…from proposed multiple high rises (16-, 28-, 29- and 30-storey and ~900 cars – similar in mass to the Nova Centre) at the corner of Spring Garden Road and Robie Street; the expansion of major QE2 facilities onto parkland adjacent to the Natural History Museum and along Bell Road with two parking garages; the exclusive use of the Wanderer’s Grounds by a professional soccer team; the overwhelming use of the remaining open space of the Common of organized sports and programmed uses; the eviction of the Common Roots Urban Farm from the area and the slow progress of the Halifax Common Master Plan by HRM Staff begun in 2017 and that has been without significant public input for nearly two years. 

It is important to understand that the 240 acres of the Halifax Common from Robie to South Park and North Park Streets and Cunard to South Street, “given to the inhabitants of the Town of Halifax as Common forever,” in 1763, has deep historical significance; that it is one of the defining features of the urban form of Halifax; that it serves as a neighbourhood park in an area of increasing density under the Centre Plan; that Centre Plan Package B currently calls for no new green space; and most importantly that the diminishment of the Halifax Common has been going on for generations and will not stop with this generation unless given protection. Continue reading

FHC to HRM Staff- The Halifax Common Needs Good Planning Please!

The Halifax Common grant in 1763 was for 235 acres ” to and for the use of the inhabitants of the town of Halifax as Common, forever.” This entire area was to be considered for planning purposes in the 1994 Halifax Common Plan.

FHC executive members recently met with HRM planning staff to remind them of the importance of good planning and protection for the future of the Halifax Common under the the following themes: Consider the Common as a whole; Protection; Flexible space; Expand the Purview and Participatory.

!. Consider the Common as a whole. The historical boundary must be respected and highlighted, and an overall character needs to be established, not just for sidewalks, streets, and current public spaces, but to the extent possible for the Common as a whole.

2. Protection. It must be understood that without legislative protection, the dimishment of the Common, which has gone on for many years, will steadily continue in future years and generations. If so, one of the defining features of the urban form and history of Halifax will be irredeemably lost. Specific steps leading to the protection of the Common must be identified in the Plan. Continue reading