EDM was retained by Birkshire Development Limited to design a compact neighbourhood on a 22-acre linear parcel in rural Nova Scotia. The client wanted to provide housing suitable for seniors who wanted to remain in the community, but who were not well served by existing housing options. The property was well suited for the introduction of a new clustered housing community in close proximity to the village centre and area hospital.
Through a development agreement application process, EDM designed and obtained approval for development of a 42-unit neighbourhood, with shared open spaces and connections to an existing trail system. The dwelling units, designed by Kassner Goodspeed Architects, provide for single floor living, with additional space for guests and family in a second-level loft area. Units are divided into clusters of between 12 and 14 units, facing one another, with covered front porches to animate the space and create a sense of community and security among residents.
The lot was cut by an existing private road access and contains a large utility easement along one edge. Careful site planning was needed to accommodate necessary waste water treatment systems and wells. Vegetative buffers are retained to maintain the rural character of the area, where spaces are opened-up to accommodate each cluster and trail and driveway connections between them.
Unanimous approval was given to the project by both the Municipal Council and the community in December 2016.