Green Tech Centre Development Permit
The Green Tech Centre, the first building proposed for the Oceanfront lands since its purchase, was approved last month. This exciting project is composed of two distinct parts: The Green Tech Office Building and the Research and Development Facility. The Green Tech Office Building has been updated from the initial application to include a number of additional features and to accommodate a broader number of user types. Most notably, the underground parking lot has been expanded to cover the entire Office Building lot allowing for an at-grade park/green space at the rear of the building. When complete, the Green Tech Office Building will provide 130,000 square feet of employment space and is envisioned to be the incubator space for the University of British Columbia’s potential future Campus. The building incorporates a natural ventilation system, green roofs, an end of trip facility for active transport commuters and a number of other green initiatives. The R & D facility will provide 40,000 square feet of space for Research and Development businesses to take root.
A critical component of the Development Permit was the foreshore treatment along the Cattermole Slough. In order to construct all of the buildings on the Oceanfront the ground elevation will be raised almost 3 meters from existing grade. This creates a unique design condition throughout the site but especially where the raised ground level meets the water surrounding the site. The Cattermole Slough was envisioned within the Oceanfront Sub Area Plan as having a soft edge. Working with a group of design professionals including engineers, planners, environmental professionals and Green Shores experts, Newport Beach Developments has crafted a soft shore approach that meets both the geotechnical and environmental goals and objectives for the site. At the top of the bank a paved waterfront trail will be constructed allowing for views over the water. Inland from the trail a number of trees and hedges will be planted to screen the R and D buildings. Below the trail the foreshore will step down through a series of habitat benches created by tying logs back into slope. The benches will be planted with salt tolerant native species creating a significant amount of new habitat. Below the high tide level, planting will include replanted vegetation that will be harvested during construction as well as native water tolerant plants. At the base, a boulder toe will create habitat for spawning fish and will limit the impacts on the slough.
Currently the prime focus on the Oceanfront is to provide new municipal and third party utilities to the development site. With the recent approval of the Development Permit application for the Green Tech Centre, we’ve been working closely with District staff and our consultants to provide new services and remove the existing services down on the Oceanfront. Concurrently, Newport Beach Developments has been sourcing and placing fill on Lot 4 to bring the existing grade to the new Flood Construction Level. Over the past few months, we’ve received over 20,000 m3 of structural fill.
New Galbraith Road
The new Main Road will replace the existing Galbraith Road alignment. To meet flood concerns, the elevation of the road will be notable – sitting 2m on top of existing grade. In order to mitigate any access disruptions to Newport Beach during construction, we’ve completed the construction of a temporary access road. This can be seen on site and it follows the alignment generally shown below. The switch over to the temporary gravel road will likely occur mid-summer, once the existing utilities underneath Galbraith are safely decommissioned. Once a timeline is confirmed, advanced notice will be provided.
Necessary offsite sewer and water service lines that will feed the Oceanfront development are scheduled to be completed this summer. Onsite water and sewer service lines have been designed and pending the decommissioning of the current services, are likely to be constructed towards the end of 2017.
Environmental monitoring has been required by the Ministry of Environment on the Oceanfront site since the clean up of the Nexen Chemical plant. Recent monitoring results have demonstrated a natural attenuation in groundwater mercury contamination on the southern portion of the peninsula. Moving forward, we are developing a work plan with contaminated sites experts to complete the remaining remediation work on the site.