Salus Clementine Apartments, Ottawa, ON

Project Overview

The Salus Clementine project is a 42-unit, 4-storey apartment building located in Ottawa South. This pre-certified Passive House is leading a building quality revolution in the multi-residential affordable housing sector.

By reaching the Passive House Standard, the heating demand is reduced by 85% compared to the current Ontario Building Code. GHG emissions are reduced by 75% on heating, also. Each 400 sq.ft apartment will cost just $27 per year to heat! This is achieved by greatly increasing insulation, reducing air leakage, eliminating thermal-bridging, using high performance windows and doors, and supplying continuous ventilation for exceptional interior air quality. The result is a more affordable building over its lifespan, one that sets a new standard for construction.

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The structure is light steel studs and joists sitting on the tray slab foundation with concrete foundation around the perimeter.The party walls between all units act as loadbearing elements. The use of a tray foundation slab eliminated footings, simplified the underslab insulation, and led to a more economical and a quicker and thermal bridge free construction.

An external structurally insulated panel system (SIPS) attached over the building steel frame provides a composite of insulation and cladding support with integral air and vapour control in the oriented strand board (OSB) faces. The 11-7/8” I-joists spaced at 24” in the panel provided the needed insulation depth. SIPs are used on the below grade foundation walls, above grade walls and roof system.

Passive House-quality (Certified) doors, windows and curtain walls were specified. This was very important as the building orientation with respect to the street and available site area did not permit much solar gain on the south facade. The building will be ventilated through a central ERV unit located in the basement and outdoor air is tempered through the below grade subsoil glycol loop around the building. Heating and cooling are supplied through the small volume of necessary ventilation air, a common Passive House trait producing economic savings in heat distribution.

This project is a true testament of commitment and dedication of all parties involved to start something radically new with affordable housing in Canada, where budgets are tight, the learning curve is steep and dealing with mistakes is an inherent part of the process.

Annual Heating Cost

$27/yr per apt.*

* 570 kWh per year per 400 ft2 apartment (average) @ 4.5 cents/kWh natural gas heating, no night setback

See Building Performance Data

Building Performance Data (via PHPP modeling)  
Gross Floor Area 2486 m2 (26,750 ft2)
Treated Floor Area (TFA) 2082 m2
Specific Annual Heating Demand 14.0 kWh/m2
Annual Heating Demand 29,148kWh / year
Annual Heating cost $1458 / year ($29 per apartment)
Design Heating Load 22,213 Watts
Specific Heating Load 10.7 W/m2
Target Airtightness 0.3 ach @ 50 Pa
Airtightness achieved under construction
Annual cooling demand 2,501 kWh/y
Annual cooling cost $255/year (assuming cooling at off peak hours)

See Construction Details

Construction Specs Construction Type U-value (R-value) Manufacturer, Location
Floor slab Geoslab, Superinsulated EPS tray slab 0.105 W/m2K (R-54) Legalett North America
Wall structure Light Gauge Steel Stud 0.106 W/m2K (R-54)
Roof structure Structural Insulated Panels 0.077 W/m2K (R-74) Kott Lumber, Ottawa
Wall Insulation Neopor SIPs 305 mm Kott Lumber, Ottawa
Roof Insulation Neopor SIPs 305 mm + 152 mm Kott Lumber, Ottawa
Windows uPVC (unplasticized polyvinyl chloride) Passive House Certified Gaulhofer, Austria
Exterior Door Aluminum 1.3 W/m2K (R-4) Gaulhofer, Austria
Window Frame uPVC (unplasticized polyvinyl chloride) Uf = 0.83 W/m2K (R-7) Gaulhofer, Austria
Window Glazing Triple 2 x low-e 0.53 W/m2K (R-11) Saint Gobain
Glazing SHGC (g-value) Solar heat gain coefficient 0.51
Airtightness goal : 0.3 ach @ 50 Pa
Ventilation system ERV - Tempeff RG2000 75% modelled efficiency Tempeff, North America
Ventilation preheat geothermal fluid loop around foundation
Heating / Hot Water Gas Condensing Water Heater - 120 Gallons 96% Claimed efficiency Shield Commercial water heater

See Design & Construction Team

Role Person(s) Location Contact
Architecture CSV Architects Ottawa, ON www.csv.ca
Project Architects Anthony Leaning / Sonia Zouari, CSV Ottawa, ON szouariCPHD@yahoo.ca
Passive House Designer Sonia Zouari Ottawa, ON szouariCPHD@yahoo.ca
General Contractor Michael Assal, Taplen Commercial Construction Ltd. Ottawa, ON www.taplenconstruction.com
Construction Supervisor Scott Robert, Taplen Ottawa, ON SRobert@taplenconstruction.com
Building Envelope SIP Supplier Kott Lumber Co. Ottawa, ON www.kottlumber.com
Mechanical Engineering Michael St.Louis, Randa Khartabil, Smith & Anderson Ottawa, ON http://smithandandersen.com
Passive House Consulting & Airtightness Malcolm Isaacs, Construction Maison Passive Inc. Wakefield, QC malcolm@passivehouse.ca
Certification Andrew Peel for Passivhaus Institut Darmstadt, Germany www.passiv.de