Affordable housing using prefab construction – a first for Peterborough

Ontario Construction News staff writer

Precast structural load bearing walls and precast floor slabs are being installed followed by prefabricated wall panels at an affordable housing project at 681 Monaghan Rd. in Peterborough.

It’s the city’s first construction project to use prefabricated construction techniques, led by Mortlock Construction.

“As proud members of this community, we are so fortunate to be able to help address this crisis with this much needed project, Mortlock Construction president Craig Mortlock, president said in a statement. “To date, we’ve spent many months working together with the City of Peterborough and the design team to design, coordinate, implement and construct this building.

“We are now at a very exciting stage of the project. We, and any other passerby, get to witness the fruits of the team’s planning and coordination, as the precast concrete structural panels are being delivered and placed on site. It is so rewarding to see this building taking shape so quickly, growing daily, eventually allowing so many people to call this building home.”

Construction started in fall 2023, with an official groundbreaking ceremony held Oct. 11 for the 6-storey building with 53 units and amenity space and utilities on the ground floor. Construction is expected to be completed this year.

“It’s exciting to see the progress of construction at 681 Monaghan Road,” said Councillor Keith Riel, chair of the housing portfolio. ”This important housing project is being funded as part of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation Rapid Housing Program, so it was essential that the team assessed construction techniques for both cost efficiency and the ability to facilitate a shorter construction period.”

The project was designed by Unity Design Studio, formerly Lett Architects, a company that has a rich history in Peterborough.

“As the building takes form, we would like to express our gratitude for the dedication of the entire project team. Their commitment ensures that upon completion, this building will offer affordable housing to many and positively impact our community,” said Roy Turner, senior project lead from Unity Design Studio.

The affordable housing project received $18.9 million in federal funding through the third round of the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI3), $40,000 in SEED funding, $854,810 through the Ontario Priorities Housing Initiative (OPHI) and over $4 million from the City of Peterborough. The project, which is expected to be completed this year, will be home to vulnerable populations in Peterborough, including Black Canadians, people with disabilities, Indigenous Peoples, homeless people or those at risk of homelessness.


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