Adsum’s ‘Sunflower’ Will Create 25 New Affordable, Sustainable Homes in HRM
Development Named in Honour of Health and Housing Advocate, Patti Melanson, ONS Halifax, N.S. – With today’s signing of its development agreement with Halifax Regional Municipality and after securing $4 million in funds from the Rapid Housing Initiative, Adsum for Women & Children is announcing the launch of the ‘Sunflower’ – a development project in Lakeside that will construct 25 homes for women, families and gender-expansive folks who are experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity. Adsum is raising an additional $1 million to construct an adjacent community space for offices and programming as well as landscaping and a natural playscape. Adsum has assembled a team of local architects, designers, contractors and construction professionals including Passive Design Solutions, Cobequid Consulting and DORA Construction to bring its vision to life. The organization’s belief that low income housing can be both beautiful and environmentally sustainable has informed every aspect of its design. With the expertise of architects and engineers at Passive Design Solutions, Sunflower Court (the 25 housing units) and its community space, Sunflower House, will consume at least 80 per cent less energy than code-built homes. Within and surrounding the development, landscape and playscape areas will be installed to incorporate natural elements into its overall design. “Using the Passive House approach results in a drastic reduction in energy use and when combined with the proposed solar panel system it will allow Adsum to achieve ‘Net-Zero’ for this development – meaning that Sunflower Court and Sunflower House will produce as much energy as they use,” explained Natalie Leonard, P.Eng., founding partner of Passive Design Solutions. “As important as the resulting energy and money savings, this approach will create living spaces that are warm, bright, quiet and comfortable for Adsum’s tenants.” Sunflower Court and Sunflower House have been named in honour of Adsum’s cherished friend, Patti Melanson, a nurse, health and housing advocate, and recipient of the Order of Nova Scotia, who passed away in 2018. Patti’s daughters, Ella and Mackenzie were asked to name the development as a tribute to Patti and her vision for a more just society where housing, safety and dignity were afforded to all its members. “Sunflowers were not only our mom’s favourite flower but they represent so much of who she was – beautiful, strong and always turning toward the sun,” said Mackenzie. “Our mom believed that people, no matter their circumstances, should not be treated with judgement, only compassion. Sunflower Court will be a place where, like sunflowers, its residents will find the light, warmth and safety they need and deserve.” Sunflower Court will consist of four two-story buildings containing housing units and a one-story community building, Sunflower House. Exceeding minimum requirements, four of its units will be fully accessible and the remaining 21 will be adaptable units. Ground-breaking for the Sunflower Project is scheduled for March 2021 with completion and occupancy by April 2022.