IMMOSTAR AND FIERA REAL ESTATE: COMMITED TO THE FUTURE!
Quebec City, Tuesday, September 6th, 2022 – Immostar and its partner Fiera Real Estate are proud to announce that Le Huppé, their rental condo complex in Quebec City is the first residential building in Canada to receive the highly coveted Gold level WELL certification. Offering 187 all-inclusive units, Le Huppé is proudly at the forefront of socially engaged buildings in North America!
WELLTM for the well-being of residents
The WELL program is run by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI). Certification is carried out by the same independent organization as for LEED, Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI). LEED certification is recognized as the international hallmark of excellence in sustainable buildings. It is more focused on the building, its energy performance and the environmental impact of construction as opposed to WELL certification, which is the first standard entirely devoted to the health and well-being of the people inside the building. Projects are reviewed by a team that ensures that the building and its environment respect the 10 major WELL concepts—air, water, nourishment, luminosity, thermal comfort, movement, sound, materials, mind, community and innovation—and more than 100 individual indicators ranging from performance standards and design strategies to specific operational procedures.
This certification means the building’s residents enjoy numerous health and well-being benefits. It doesn’t just rate acoustic, thermal and visual comfort, or air and water quality. It also looks at how the building promotes physical health through active design that encourages walking and how it fosters mental health through spaces designed to permit interaction, relaxation and contemplating the natural surroundings. Biophilia—our human affinity for living things and natural systems—was a major design inspiration for Le Huppé with its optimal access to natural light, views of the outdoors, and materials and textures reminiscent of the natural environment.
“The pandemic has sharpened our focus on wellness and underlined the importance of helping people stay healthy,” said François Pelchat, partner and vice-president of development and marketing at Immostar. “Along with our partner Fiera Real Estate, we have made it our mission to drive change in the real estate industry and help improve the lives of residents. The WELL standard is not merely cosmetic. It is a real paradigm shift. It’s up to us, as leaders in Quebec’s real estate industry, to set an example and show how important it is to consider environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria when investing in projects. As a society, we are increasingly aware that buildings have a large carbon footprint, both through the use of polluting materials and through the consumption of resources and energy. The real estate industry can make a significant contribution to achieving emission reduction targets—and socially engaged buildings are how. These buildings are the new way forward for real estate. They meet the needs of a clientele that cares about the environment and their community.”
“We want our projects to be beneficial to the planet, governments, municipalities, and the people who choose us,” added Pelchat. “Tenants are interested in these kinds of innovations. They’re well informed and their expectations are high. We plan to continue to innovate through projects like Le Huppé to meet their needs today and into the future. Investing in human well-being is and always will be the best investment we can make.”
Key strategies put in place to attain gold-level status include: Improved air and water quality treatment; increased natural light through generously sized windows and glare control in all living spaces and in the condos themselves; lighting and temperature controlled by the occupant in all common areas; signs offering health, nutrition and workout tips throughout the building; a library open to all; promotion of physical activity through an inviting and fun staircase design; and a variety of indoor and outdoor common spaces that encourage interaction and community.
“We spend more than 90 percent of our lives indoors, and after more than two years of pandemic, that percentage has probably increased. This has changed the way many people perceive building design. By opting for WELL certification for Le Huppé, Immostar decided to invest in people!’’ Maude Pintal, Partner and senior project manager sustainability at Ædifica.
What’s more, lockdown measures and the move to remote work have highlighted the appeal of spaces designed for conversation and relaxation, which are now on many tenants’ wish list. “At Le Huppé, my home is more than just my apartment. I can also use the indoor and outdoor common spaces to get out for fresh air and exercise, socialize, and take care of myself. It’s important for my mental health,” said tenant Véronique Vézina.
Le Huppé, in tune with its environment
Le Huppé is strategically located at the corner of Boulevard Lebourgneuf and Autoroute Robert-Bourassa. Just steps from Parc de l’Escarpement, it offers a special connection with nature thanks to 16 kilometres of groomed trails. The building is located in the heart of an innovative hub for socially engaged building design, next to the head office of Promutuel Insurance, the first LEED Gold–certified building in Quebec City, and Humanitæ, a unique living environment designed specifically for seniors with cognitive disorders.
IMMOSTAR: A mark of quality
At Immostar, the shift to sustainable design strategies to provide healthy living environments began long before the pandemic and long before Well certification really took off. François Pelchat, Immostar partner and vice-president of rentals and marketing, explained that his teams work differently in order to introduce innovative and transformative practices that will encourage other developers to spearhead more sustainable projects, build energy-efficient buildings, and create environments that foster the health and well-being of the people who live there.
Immostar president André Pelchat is proud that the group’s innovative projects are contributing to the development and reputation of Quebec City in the real estate industry: “Our goal at Immostar is to be a force for change in the industry. With socially engaged buildings, the focus is not only on the building itself, but also on the health and well-being of occupants. It’s important to me and to the entire Immostar team that each of our projects distinguishes itself by a cutting-edge design in harmony with its environment and in a carefully considered location,” added Pelchat.
A pioneering investor
While the benefits of such a project are many, contributing to the development of a concept as innovative as socially engaged buildings entails a higher risk for investors. Fiera Real Estate has implemented numerous measures over the course of its ESG journey that have made it a leader in environmental, social, and governance integration. Fiera quickly became convinced of the worth of Immostar’s project and even had a sustainable development manager join their Canadian office. “Le Huppé is an innovative, premium-quality institutional product that will help further research and development,” said William Secnik, senior vice president and fund manager of Fiera Real Estate. “As investors, we need to turn more towards a sustainable green economy focused on well-being in order to help our industry evolve. Collaborating on a project like Le Huppé has enabled us to further develop our expertise and gain a better understanding of the best practices we can apply to numerous other real estate projects going forward.”
Le Huppé, a place to call home
Opened in July 2021, Le Huppé is redefining standards for rental condos in Quebec City by transforming tenants’ lives for the better. Visit www.lehuppe.ca or make an appointment to learn how WELL certification puts people at the heart of their community and at the heart of Le Huppé.
About Fiera Real Estate
Fiera Real Estate is an investment management firm with operations in Canada and the United Kingdom. The team is comprised of over 80 employees. As of December 31, 2021, our company managed $7.5 billion in commercial real estate assets globally through a range of funds and investment accounts. Our portfolio is highly diversified—both geographically and in terms of real estate types. This along with our range of unparalleled strategies provides investors with exceptional opportunities to diversify their investments and personalize their investment experience in this asset class.
Fiera Real Estate is the exclusive property of Fiera Capital Corporation, a leading investment management firm that offers multiple products and manages over $180.8 billion in assets. Fiera Capital provides Fiera Real Estate access to global investment market information, which boosts our ability to innovate in a risk assessment and mitigation framework. https://ca.fieraimmobilier.com/
Founded in Quebec City nearly 20 years ago, Immostar is a team of real estate enthusiasts driven by the desire to make a significant and measurable difference in each and every project they undertake. As a real estate leader, IMMOSTAR acquires, develops, and manages commercial real estate projects, shopping centres, office space, and industrial and residential projects. Inspired by the best in innovation, IMMOSTAR is proud to be a creative real estate leader, being the first developer to build LEED, WELL, and TOD projects in the greater Quebec City area. IMMOSTAR has a portfolio of more than 3 million sq. ft. and is constantly looking for ways to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary while generating superior added value for both investors and tenants.
Review of the press
Sustainable Biz Canada / Quebec City condo Canada’s first WELL-Gold certified residence