Technopôle Angus is an innovative and sustainable neighbourhood in the heart of a central residential district of Montréal. Previously an industrial site for the Canadian Pacific Railway, and later, an abandoned contaminated wasteland, Technopôle Angus is a highly successful model of brownfield remediation. The site includes 15 hectares of land, with 50% still undeveloped (Technopole Angus, n.d.) . The undeveloped land will be transformed into the Technopôle Angus’ Eco-district; an urban village designed by Provencher Roy, that aims to increase green space and implement innovative water management and energy systems. The Eco-district is a mixed use development, allowing for residential, business, and commercial buildings to co-exist within one area. The eco-district presents a flexible design that was developed from key guiding principles such as a quality environment, a permeable urban fabric, and the integration of attractive public spaces (Provencher_Roy, n.d.).
Technopôle Angus neighbourhood and eco-district is located in the borough of Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie, a residential district of Montréal. The site is bounded by the streets Rachel and Saint-Joseph, and is adjacent to the Jean-Duceppe Park. The land where the neighbourhood is now established was previously a site for the Canadian Pacific Railway factory, therefore producing an industrial wasteland when the factory closed in 1991 (Technopole Angus, n.d.). The site had heavily contaminated soils that included heavy metals, petroleum hydrocarbons, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. The soil was transformed through remediation which involved reusing some of the soil on-site with low contamination levels. The soil was also bermed on the west end of the site to create a shield from the adjacent railway tracks. The development’s overall size includes 15 hectares of land with 50% still undeveloped. The new development of the eco-district will be situated in the centre of the site within a boundary of 51,097 square meters (Provencher_Roy, n.d.). The site is accessible by a dedicated bus line that is used to connect users with the green and orange metro lines along with 2 bike paths with corresponding BIXI stations to increase the use of active transportation. Green transportation within the new eco-district will be further emphasized from the restriction of vehicular traffic on-site.
PROJECT BACKGROUND AND HISTORY
In 1904, the Canadian Pacfic Railway chose the rosemont borough in East Montréal to open its largest Factory in North America which was later known as the Rosemont Angus Shops. The factory used a Welfare Working Policy to promote productivity within its employees resulting in the implementation of on-site services for the workers’ convenience. These services included cafeterias, libraries, and health care and set a precedent of providing an abundance of quality jobs in Montréal.
In 1991, when the industrial era was coming to an end the CPR closed down the Angus Shops. At this time the Corporation de développement économique et communautaire Rosemont-Petite Patrie (CDEC) wanted to transform the industrial site into a liveable space for the city.
In 1995, The CDEC launched the the Société de développement Angus (SDA) to provide expertise on sustainable design towards the redevelopment to the Angus site.
In 1998, site restoration and soil remediation commenced after seven years of work and preparation. The site where the locomotives were assembled within the CPR Angus Shops were being transformed into a space that can be used and enjoyed by the public.
In 2018, 50% of the land had been acquired and developed within the principles of sustainable developed that had been established by SDA. The first residential project within the site was Cite Angus which became a multi-use eco-district.
(Technopole Angus, n.d.)
GOAL OF THE PROJECT
The main objective of the Technopôle Angus development project is to create a built-environment that creates a balance between coviences and sustainability. The neighbourhood focuses on developing a diverse community that can offer its residents with a variety of services in minimal walking distance through its mixed-use buildings and public spaces. While accommodating both residential and commercial functions, the neighbourhood also strives to respect the environment and act as a model for sustainable design. This objective has been largely achieved through the LEED Platinum level certification of the new development based on water management systems, reuse of materials, and energy looping within the zone (Technopole Angus, n.d.). The final goal of the project is to bring employment and economic success back into the neighbourhood that once was prosperous with jobs through the CPR Rosemont Angus Shops before its closure in 1991 (Societe Développement Angus, n.d.).
DESIGN, DEVELOPMENT, AND DECISION MAKING PROCESS
Technopôle Angus project was designed and developed in two distinct phases each provided with 50% of the land. Site renewal and soil remediation were an additional initial phase for the project to create a blank slate for the developments (Technopole Angus, n.d.).
Phase I, also known as the Cite Angus project, was the initial condominium development focused on creating housing within central Montréal for families. The development includes 120 condos which also meet Montréal's affordability criteria therefore providing financial assistance through the Home Ownership Program to eligible families. Cite Angus established Technopôle Angus as an innovative and up-in-coming neighbourhood for young families. This phase also involved designing and building offices and other commercial spaces with the focus of eco-energy, high-quality air, natural lighting and LEED certification. These buildings set a precedent for the entire neighbourhood of sustainable design strategies and expectations as well as initiating the growth of the future business district (Cite Angus, n.d).
Phase II, also known as the Technopôle Angus Eco-District Master Plan designed by Provencher Roy, is the next phase of the project that focuses on the sustainable development, employment, and connections throughout the neighbourhood and district. The plan was developed through three segments: analysis of the site and its urban context, sustainable urban development based on international precedents, and the development of a flexible and evolving framework (Technopole Angus, n.d.). The proposed plan includes an energy loop for heat exchange between adjacent buildings therefore reducing energy consumption by an estimated 40% and gas emissions by 26%. The plan includes rainwater systems that will provide the landscapes and green areas with 95% recycled water (Technopole Angus, n.d.). Additionally, the neighbourhood plans on adopting multiple sustainable practices such as permaculture. To increase employment opportunities within the district, the plan involves the construction of 15 buildings, more than half including office and work space for future companies, as well as the integration of small shops lining public squares and pedestrian corridors (Canada Green Building Council, n.d.). These pedestrian corridors provide the neighbourhood with connections to its context, therefore producing a highly permeable built environment (Provencher_Roy, n.d.).
After the completion of Phase II, SDA will continue to develop and possibly expand the neighbourhood for the future, working towards the end goal of regenerating the local community.
Dyble, J. (2018, April 11). A look inside Montreal's $250mn Technopole Angus Green Neighbourhood project. Retrieved August 6, 2019, from https://canada.businesschief.com/technology/2533/A-look-inside-Montreals-250mn-Technopole-Angus-Green-Neighbourhood-project
Green neighbourhood. (2019, May 03). Retrieved August 6, 2019, from https://www.technopoleangus.com/en/neighbourhood/green-neighbourhood
New condos for modern families at Technopôle Angus. (n.d.). Retrieved August 6, 2019, from https://cite-angus.com/en/
Notre Identité, une histoire de fierté. (n.d.). Retrieved August 6, 2019, from https://sda-angus.com/en/our-identity/#bloc-mission
Strip of Montreal's St-Laurent to be transformed. (2016, September 02). Retrieved August 6, 2019, from https://www.canadianconsultingengineer.com/buildings/block-montreals-st-laurent-boulevard-transformed/1003403345/
Sustainable Master Plan for Technopôle Angus - Phase II: Provencher_Roy: Architecture - Design - Urbanisme - Paysage. (n.d.). Retrieved August 6, 2019, from https://provencherroy.ca/en/projet/sustainable-master-plan-for-technopole-angus-phase-ii/
Technopole Angus, Lansdowne Park among National Urban Design winners - constructconnect.com. (2016, December 05). Retrieved August 6, 2019, from https://canada.constructconnect.com/dcn/news/Associations/2016/4/Technopole-Angus-Lansdowne-Park-among-National-Urban-Design-winners-1015158W
Technopôle Angus. (n.d.). Retrieved August 6, 2019, from https://www.cagbc.org/CAGBC/Programs/LEED/LEEDv4/LEED_v4_Leaders/Technopole_Angus.aspx
Technopôle Angus is an extremely significant project in Montréal as well as in North America. It is the first LEED Platinum certified district in Québec and serves as a sustainable design precedent for cities across the world (Technopole Angus, n.d.). The neighbourhood also provides Montréal with affordable housing within its center and within a vibrant business area comprised of a variety of local stores and offices. Technopôle Angus also has won multiple awards throughout the two phases of the development based on the sustainable design strategies used during the design process as well as the final functioning neighbourhood and district. These awards include:
2015: Brownie Award - Best Overall, Canadian Institute of Planners
2016: National Urban Design Awards, Architecture Canada (RAIC)
2019: Novae Awards - 20 best initiatives of the year
2019: Gala de reconnaissance environnement et développement durable de Montréal - Entreprises et Institutions category
A major challenge for Technopôle Angus was creating a flexible design for the neighbourhood and eco-district that incorporates mix-use buildings, while still connecting the area to the adjacent communities. This was an issue in the initial design phase, however, through bus lines, bike paths, and an ecological corridor the neighbourhood has successfully integrated within its context (Provencher_Roy, n.d.).
Also, 10 years prior to the neighbourhood development, SDA was acquiring property along the strip. However, a major obstacle stood in SDA’s way due to a strip club established in 1976 refusing to move locations. This has led the developers to adapt the neighbourhood design to be built behind the establishment instead (Canadian Consulting Engineer, 2016).
GENESIS OF PROJECT
The initial project of Technopôle Angus was initiated through Société de développement Angus’ whose mission is to create “real estate developments grounded in sustainable development principles that drive urban renewal while generating benefits for the local community.” The SDA spent several years focusing on research and design progression to revitalize the previously uninhabitable space and transform it into a thriving and avante-garde neighbourhood. After establishing the initial neighbourhood of Technopôle Angus, phase II of the master plan, including the eco-district, began in 2012. This phase focuses on pushing the limits of the space towards responsible urban revitalization as well as bringing employment back to the community and its residents. The final design was generated by the firm Provencher Roy and was heavily influenced by their multidisciplinary and integrated service approach resulting in a diverse and flexible framework for the new district.
(Societe Développement Angus, n.d.)
The Technopôle Angus Plan features 15 hectares of development that includes:
1. Public spaces with corresponding amenities including a pedestrian street, an urban forest, and public squares
2. 360 residential units with 80% being affordable housing
3. 45,000 square meters of office space
4. 20 new local businesses
5. Student residence, elementary school and two daycare centres
6. Limited all parking to underground, to provide more space for pedestrians and cyclists above-ground
(Canada Green Building Council, n.d.)
Along with this programming, the master plan also includes three sustainable strategies:
1. 25% green space: including outdoor living spaces for residents, a tree-lined walkway for pedestrians, green roofs with edible plants, an urban forest, and ecological corridors
2. Water-management system: providing the neighbourhood with 95% recycled water for toilet water and vegetation, therefore reducing potable water consumption by 40%
3. Energy looping: to allow for buildings to share hot and cold air based on the needs of each space, therefore reducing energy consumption by 40% and reducing gas emissions by 26%
(Technopole Angus, n.d.)
The province of Québec provided $20.5 million in funding towards Montréal's Technopole Angus Green Neighbourhood project with an estimated total budget of $250 million (Dyble, 2018).
ROLE OF DESIGNERS
Provencher Roy was the lead firm in designing the Phase II Technopôle Angus Eco-District Master Plan in collaboration with NIP Paysage, Vinci Consultants and Pageau Morel associés. Provencher Roy is a multidisciplinary team that focuses on urban architecture projects along with integrated sustainable systems, making them a top choice of SDA to complete the sustainable development plan. Provencher Roy based the plan on a flexible framework that is able to accommodate the different sizes and requirements of businesses, along with incorporating sustainable systems and strategies (Provencher_Roy, n.d.).