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Homes for Veterans

The MHI Veterans' House: the Andy Carswell Building is a project aimed at providing healthy living spaces for homeless Canadian Veterans. Construction on the building in Ottawa began in 2019 with McDonald Brothers Construction, and Great Northern Insulation was thrilled to be able to provide the installation of exterior wall batt and poly, interior sound batts, and dense-pack cellulose wall insulation to assist in the construction of this impressive building.

About the MHI Veterans' House and Multifaith Housing Initiative

Multifaith Housing Initiative (MHI) is a not-for-profit charitable organization established in 2002 that provides affordable, safe housing in Ottawa. The construction of Veterans' House: the Andy Carswell Building is a pilot project by Multifaith Housing Initiative with the overall goal of creating a repeatable, robust construction model that can be replicated Canada-wide to assist veterans experiencing homelessness. Although the Multifaith Housing Initiative already operates 139 rental units at four affordable housing sites in Ottawa, Veterans' House: the Andy Carswell Building is the first building specifically designed to serve the needs of Canadian veterans, and the first building to be certified under the Passive House requirements.

When completed, the three-storey 40-unit Veterans' House: the Andy Carswell Building will serve Ottawa as a supportive housing facility to provide safe housing to Canadian veterans. The Multifaith Housing Initiative has worked to ensure that every veteran’s needs will be met within their facility. The building will include communal gathering areas, and offer counseling, addiction, and mental health services.  Veterans' House: the Andy Carswell Building will also include an on-site indoor gym facility, outdoor barbeque areas, and a dog park for service dogs.

This impressive initiative is made possible only by the members and volunteers of the Multifaith Housing Initiative, their Veterans’ House partners, and donations towards the construction of Veterans' House: the Andy Carswell Building. Information on how to donate towards Veterans' House: the Andy Carswell Building can be found at the Multifaith Housing Initiative website here.

Cellulose insulation, which is made from recycled paper content, is injected into each wall cavity through pre-drilled access points. Once completely full of densely packed cellulose, these walls are very well insulated!

 

How Great Northern Insulation is Assisting

Veterans' House: the Andy Carswell Building aims to meet Passive House requirements, a rigorous set of prerequisites that will signify it as a building that consumes up to 90% less heating and cooling energy than a traditional building of similar size. The Passive House (or PassivHaus as it is called in its German country of origin) building standard is an internationally recognized building science-based standard. Certified Passive House buildings are uncommon, but enjoy improved indoor air quality, energy savings, and drastically reduced carbon emissions from the ongoing upkeep and usage of the building.

Great Northern Insulation was contracted to provide dense-pack cellulose exterior wall insulation, exterior wall batt-and-poly insulation, and interior acoustical batt insulation. These insulation materials will combine to provide whole-building comfort and efficiency, as well as improved acoustical dampening between units.

Cellulose insulation is one of the most energy-efficient and environmentally friendly types of insulation that is widely available. It has a low Embodied Carbon Content, which means that the amount of greenhouse gases (GHG) produced during the entire production and distribution cycle of cellulose insulation is very low compared to other types of insulation. All aspects of the production are taken into account when determining the embodied carbon of a product – the methods and materials needed to create the product, the emissions of the production facilities and vehicles needed to make and transfer the product, and more. This allows for an embodied carbon reading to be a very effective way of determining how sustainable a product is and showcases why cellulose insulation is a great product type for jobs like Veterans' House: the Andy Carswell Building!

Great Northern Insulation strongly agrees with the belief that every Canadian deserves a safe, comfortable place to live, and is thrilled to be supporting in the construction of Veterans' House: the Andy Carswell Building to give Canadian veterans a safe, reliable residence.

We can’t wait to see the finished building!

View of the cornerstone of Veterans' House: the Andy Carswell Building, while a GNI employee installs dense-pack cellulose into a wall cavity.
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