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Blossom Park is a new affordable housing building under construction at 373 Blossom Park Road in Woodstock. The development is owned and operated by Indwell Community Homes, a Christian charity dedicated to creating affordable housing communities that support people seeking health, wellness and belonging.


Learn more about Indwell Community Homes

Federal resources available to create more housing

The National Housing Co-Investment Fund provides low-cost loans and financial contributions to attract partnerships and investments. The focus of the fund is to build new housing and repair or renew the existing community and affordable housing supply. It covers a broad range of housing needs from shelters to affordable homeownership.
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Leading the way in Oxford County

Blossom Park is the first multi-residential development in Oxford County that will be built to achieve the Passive House standard. Passive House is a building standard that is truly energy efficient, comfortable and affordable at the same time. Passive House is not a brand name, but a tried and true construction concept that can be applied by anyone, anywhere. As a rule, Passive House buildings consume up to 90% less energy than conventional buildings.

In North America, buildings consume approximately one-third of all energy use and contribute roughly one-third towards greenhouse gas emissions. As Oxford works to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2050, improvements to building construction are critical. Blossom Park is a demonstration project, designed to influence future housing development and to meet goals outlined in the Future Oxford Community Sustainability Plan by moving away from fossil fuels, supporting industries that undertake green construction, and encouraging renewable energy.

In addition to offering affordable rental units, utilities at Blossom Park will be less expensive than in traditional buildings, increasing affordability for both the owner and tenants. As required by the local municipality, this redevelopment is subject to site plan control under the Planning Act. The site planning process will ensure that measures are taken to optimize storm water management and tree preservation, to minimize any effects on the natural environment. 

NEWS: In a first for Oxford County, thirty-four affordable housing units are set to be built to a passive-housing standard by Inddwell Community Homes on Blossom Park Road (Woodstock Sentinel-Review)

About the project

Before construction begins, Indwell's project team will demolish an outdated group home currently located at 373 Blossom Park Road. The new housing complex will include 34 apartments designed for individuals who need support services. The new development will also offer a fresh approach to support residents with mental health issues and addictions. All tenants will have access to a meal plan and other supports to maximize their ability to remain in stable housing.

The new Blossom Park housing complex is ideal for single people seeking to maximize their independence, particularly younger people with disabilities who have had few options for housing in the past. Four units will be barrier-free, exceeding Ontario Building Code Standards, and the entire building will be smoke-free.

This project is receiving financial assistance from all three levels of government. County Council authorized $2,153,270 be awarded to Indwell to develop the Blossom Park project. The $2,153,270 is comprised of $1,126,795 of Provincial/Federal funding and $1,026,475 of Municipal funding. Indwell and the County executed a 25 year Municipal Housing Facilities Agreement which is secured on title as a second mortgage. This project will offer rents at a reduced rate compared to other privately owned rental units in the community.

Energy efficiency through Passive House

The Blossom Park development will achieve Passive House performance, which means the building will be sustainable, affordable and comfortable. 

A Passive House building uses minimal energy to maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the year. Buildings are heated "passively," making efficient use of the sun, internal heat sources and heat recovery, which makes conventional heating systems unnecessary. A Passive House requires as little as 10% of the energy used by typical buildings, offering significant energy savings and reduced emissions.

While Passive House buildings are known for energy efficiency and cost savings, what residents appreciate is the level of comfort they provide. The building envelope is extremely well insulated, and triple glazed windows (with insulated frames) help maintain the desired temperature inside. Superior ventilation systems offer fresh, pollen-free and dust-free air, and prevent the moisture buildup and condensation that commonly forms along window frames.

More information about Passive House

heating cooling graphic

How did we get here?

In 2017, Oxford County raised the bar for energy efficiency by including Passive House requirements in all Requests for Proposals (RFP) for new affordable housing developments. Before that, the County held information sessions for builders, developers, architects, planners, engineers and other service managers to increase knowledge about Passive House requirements.

With Blossom Park, Oxford County is leading by example in new affordable housing construction. The development will provide a significant learning opportunity for the local building community, serving a ‘living laboratory,’ to access and track greenhouse gas emissions. It will also create a scalable and repeatable process that will drive future development decisions.

Oxford County, like other municipalities, is hobbled by an inefficient supply of existing buildings, and even though building codes have improved over the years, most new buildings cannot compare to the affordability of dwellings with low-energy heating/cooling requirements that can be supplied entirely by renewable electrical energy. 

Indwell has agreed to share utility outputs, as well as the various mechanical and building systems used in the development, to serve as a model for other builders. Post construction, regular tours will be offered to increase knowledge about the project and the rigorous Passive House standard.

Meet the Project Team

Graham Cubitt, Director of Development, Indwell

George Sweetman, Indwell

Emma Cubitt, Lead Architect, Invizij

Mechanical and Electrical Engineering
Chandra Kuruppu, Principal, CK Engineering Services Ltd
905-631-1115

Passive House Consultant
Gregory Leskien, Zon Engineering
1-888-338-6363

Construction
Trigon Construction Management

Oxford County Contact
Jamie Stephens, Manager of Housing Development, Human Services
519-539-9800 ext. 3302

Materials and Resources

To increase awareness of Passive House standards and performance, Indwell has agreed to share drawings, materials and sources used. Also, Indwell and Invizij have agreed to share their joint presentation delivered by Emma Cubitt (Lead Architect - Invizij) and Graham Cubitt (Director of Development - Indwell) at Oxford County’s 2017 Housing Forum. Emma spoke about her experience designing affordable housing projects that achieve Passive House energy performance. Graham talked about Indwell’s new affordable housing build known as the Blossom Park Project. To view Emma and Grahams’ presentation click here. Check back later to view the complete set of drawings for this project.

The Blossom Park development will be constructed using the Build Smart Wall System, which:

  • meets Passive House thermal bridging and insulation requirements
  • has triple-glazed windows and exterior insulation for an ultra-quiet interior
  • produces structures that traditional tradesmen and buyers recognize and prefer
  • can be used by all builders, no training required
  • has conventional floor framing and roof trusses are sourced locally
  • is certified by Passive House Institute (PHI) in Germany

Want to build this project? Click below to download the drawings:

Architecture Notes
Structure Drawings
Mechanical Drawings
Electric Drawings
 

Post Occupancy Performance monitoring and Building Sensors

Energy modelling is a critical component of building design. Oxford County and partners are committed to the construction of top performing building envelopes in Canada. Monitoring the performance of our buildings after construction is a key component of our energy strategy, and our will be used for verification of modelling outcomes and to provide Oxford County and partners with valuable means of continuous improvement.

When it comes to building better and living better, Indwell and Oxford County are committed to aiming higher and achieving more. Oxford County is working with Western University to research advanced manufacturing, leading-edge materials, robotics, sensor networks, and communication. Oxford County is also collaborating with private sector businesses that have a passion for growing Canadian technology and innovation footprints by empowering and retaining local skills and talents.

More information related to building sensors will be posted in the near future.

Support Services offered by Indwell

Indwell’s Blossom Park model is suited to households requiring a moderate-to-high level of support to maintain independent living. Program staff develop strong, helping relationships with tenants to promote the health, wellness and belonging of all residents.

Program staff:

  • help tenants connect to community resources
  • reinforce and nurture life skills, spirituality, and social/community skills
  • plan and facilitate programs, healthy meals and community meal times
  • support and coordinate volunteers who work directly with tenants  
  • resolve conflicts and support tenant groups
  • monitor tenant health and link to appropriate health supports
  • facilitate integrated pest management and highly attentive property management

The redeveloped Blossom Park program will feature a total of 61 independent apartments with a central community hub. Program facilities will include:

  • an accessible common laundry facility
  • a computer lab
  • a community kitchen
  • activity rooms
  • a fitness centre
  • meeting rooms
 Learn more about Indwell Support Services