Chamberlain: Taking a fresh, innovative approach to affordable housing

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Chamberlain, located in Burlington, Ontario, has made the design of affordable housing a specific priority of the organization. In business for over 40 years, they believe that it is
necessary to take a fresh, innovative approach to the two-fold problem of creating new and maintaining existing social housing developments.

Chamberlain’s approach to affordable housing seeks to do more than simply create decent spaces for living. Too often in the past, there has been a stigma attached to affordable
housing developments because little attention was paid to design and details, with the major thinking being just “put a roof over their heads”.

Chamberlain’s philosophy for this type of project is to create architecture that raises the tone of the neighbourhood and makes people proud to live there. This, in itself, helps to
build and maintain a sense of community. The mission of most housing associations
is to provide good quality, safe, accessible, sustainable and affordable housing for low-income households in their municipalities.

mixed use chamberlain

With vacancy rates in several major Canadian cities at an all time low, immigration at a record high nationally and expected to increase, housing experts foresee a persistent
lack of affordable housing into the future.

Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. Housing developments today must be designed to be sustainable, accommodate “aging in place”, have an extended life cycle, and be universally accessible for people with a wide range of abilities. To address all of these requirements, Chamberlain believes that an in-depth understanding of building performance and an integrated approach to design and construction are absolutely essential. With expertise in both architecture and construction management, they are supremely qualified in both of these areas, in addition to being flexible, responsive and completely professional.

Sustainable features that reduce the cost of construction and ongoing maintenance being explored for current projects include the installation of a horizontal geothermal field which
will provide heating and cooling, solar panels and solar¬powered LED parking lot lighting, motion light systems, energy-recovery units on all exhaust fans, and permeable asphalt paving bioswales.

Architects have the best opportunity to add value to a project during the conceptual planning phase by getting their client’s goals and objectives right. Not just a means of shelter, Chamberlain’s architects are cognizant of the fact that they are designing homes — homes have to be designed not just with the head but also with the heart. They understand
the importance of maximizing the allowable density on the site and work in a spirit of collaboration with all team members focused on “best for project” results.

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