Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Beaver Barracks Affordable Housing

Innovative energy-saving solution built into Ottawa affordable housing complex

Beaver Barracks, a rental housing project, gained attention as one of the top sustainable housing sites in Ottawa. Eco-friendly products and innovative technologies, like Schöck Isokorb®, were included in the project's construction to improve energy efficiency and create longer-lasting structures.

Beaver Barracks is an affordable housing complex in downtown Ottawa by Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation (CCOC). The 254-unit redevelopment carries the name of the former military barracks that existed on the site. Construction started in 2009, and was completed in 2012.

CCOC's Beaver Barracks development includes a mix of bachelor, one-bedroom, two- and three-bedroom apartments and townhouses providing housing for singles, families and a diverse range of households and incomes, including those who require accessibility.

Prioritizing sustainable design and energy efficiency

The project designers placed an emphasis on energy conservation when drawing up plans for the project. Thus, a variety of sustainable design techniques and components, such as geothermal heating and cooling, high efficiency building envelopes, low VOC materials throughout, green roofs with planter boxes, and a community garden were used in this development.

Schöck Isokorb® thermal breaks were used in the cantilevered concrete balconies of the seven-storey building, which consists of 76 apartments and ground-level townhouses, along with a row of commercial space on the ground floor. 

Saving future repair costs

As the developer and manager of rental apartment buildings, CCOC was aware of challenges associated with continuous concrete balconies. One of the primary concerns with traditional concrete construction methods is thermal bridging, which occurs within 25 years of construction, and warrants major repairs. Thermal bridging issues can also cause condensation, that can lead to mould issues. CCOC viewed Schöck Isokorb® thermal breaks as an opportunity to eliminate condensation issues, offer energy savings to their tenants, who pay their own utilities, and provide a higher quality of life for the occupants.

"Our objectives were to avoid future costs associated with balcony repairs, help protect the environment, and reduce our energy costs," said Kim Menard, Manager of CCOC's Development Department. "We believe these objectives were met with the installation of a concrete balcony connection made with Schöck Isokorb®, which provided the assurance the team sought in order to obtain a higher quality of life for the occupants and reduce long-term capital repair costs."

"We also wanted to make sure our building was built with cold Canadian winters in mind," said Thady Murray, Project Manager with ZW Group. "Insulating our structures as best we can is always a top priority. The long-term benefits are obvious with Schöck Isokorb® structural thermal breaks."

Watch a video of the Beaver Barracks Installation








Barry J. Hobin & Associates

Structural Engineer

Halsall Associates Ltd.

Construction Company

ZW Group

What was the reason to install these products?

Avoid future costs associated with balcony repairs, help protect the environment and reduce energy costs.

Construction volume

$24.5 million

Construction completed


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