In 2019, at Zibi, we began to lay the foundation of our community with our first residents moving into O Condominiums in Gatineau. Unlike most other development projects, Zibi’s involvement in the community does not end at building hand over. As a One Planet Living Community we are not only here to design and build sustainable infrastructure, but through the role of the One Planet Ambassador, a position that exists to build change through sustainable culture, residents are inspired to lessen their impact on the planet. In 2019, the One Planet Ambassador hosted a series of events including an evening snowshoe, a talk on zero carbon, an organic gardening workshop and a hands-on introduction to Zibi’s honey bees, the Zibees. The intent of these events is to foster a sense of appreciation for the planet and to create a sense of community among residents.
In the spring of 2019, the National Capital Region experienced unprecedented and catastrophic flooding. As a project building on islands and the shores of the Ottawa River, climate change vulnerability is top of mind. In response, our buildings are constructed to accommodate the 1 in 1000-year flood and incorporate additional climate resilient mitigation measures including waterproofing of underground infrastructure. As a result, we were spared from the flooding of 2019 and will continue to follow climate change science closely to adapt to future changes.
Zibi undertook a major infrastructure project in 2019 that will have a significant positive impact on the region. Working with many land managers, Zibi closed a major commuting corridor connecting Gatineau and Ottawa for three months during the summer to install site services and to modernize active transportation infrastructure. The corridor which was previously a harrowing experience on a bike will now facilitate relevant, safe and accessible cycling and pedestrian access across the Ottawa River to and from our project. This project also marks significant investment in our district thermal system and ultimately solidifies our commitment to our long-term goal of operating as a zero-carbon community.
Lastly, with our One Planet Design and Contractor Specifications in place, we became better at systemizing our approach to sustainability. Throughout the year, we developed procedures that allow us to track our progress on our One Planet Action Plan, building by building. Ultimately, this enhances accountability and allows us to boast about our leadership in sustainability with confidence.