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Fraser HUBdates: July 2020

Fraser HUBdates: July 2020

Category Community Development, Fraser, HUBdates
Posted 09/07/20

This Month: Hub in the time of COVID

By Karen Gingras, Director of Neighbourhood Development at Edmonton CDC

We are excited to announce that, in early July, the first session in the Fraser Community Hub integrated design process (IPD) was completed. 

As you might recall form last month’s HUBdate, IPD is a novel, collaborative approach to building design in which the owner, the architect, the general contractor, and trades all work together to plan and to share resources and risks during construction.

Edmonton CDC is a young organization (est. 2017), and this was our first hands-on experience with IPD. Factoring in complications due to COVID, it was an experiment in more ways than one.

Though we were a small group in a big room, we had to wonder: Would everyone be committed to social distancing? Would everyone be willing to wear masks? How well would this group of people (most of whom had never met before) work together? 

But possibly the most important question was: Can the tenants, architects, general contractors and Edmonton CDC design a building that meets the needs of the community as identified through months of community engagement? 










Trust, transparency, creativity and focus—and the collective brain power of everyone involved—resulted in energetic conversations and a surprising alignment in the values among the future tenants of the Fraser Community Hub. We proved that in a small working group, in a large enough room, people with similar values could collaborate while keeping safe distances and wearing masks. 

Together, we discussed who will use the space, what design considerations are most important to the tenants, what kind of atmosphere we want to create, and in what ways the function of the space can be shared among tenants. We even had the opportunity to experiment virtually with the building layout on the site.

In another pleasant and surprising outcome, opportunities arose for partners to co-create an operating model and to collaborate on such operational matters as:  

  • shared reception,
  • shared technologies,
  • shared marketing (for the Hub and for one another),
  • shared use of spaces and equipment, and
  • collaboration on scheduling and hosting events.










The group agreed that, as a community gathering place, the Hub should:

  • have an inviting and friendly atmosphere that looks and feels open,
  • feature a space where people can gather, relax, have a coffee, or go on a date,
  • have spaces for the community to hold events, and
  • enable activities that are broadly focussed on encouraging healthy lifestyles.

We weren’t able to address everything on our first meeting’s agenda, so to keep the momentum going, we are planning to meet again, later in July.

In this first phase, our goal is to provide sufficient information for the architects and contract estimators to sketch a high-level building design with an initial construction budget. That budget can then be used to develop a pro forma (i.e. a model of the potential financial performance of the Hub) that balances affordability with function, durability, and sustainable design.

Looking forward to Phase 2 of this experiment!

Lastly, a tip of the hat to the staff at Chandos Construction for hosting our first IPD session and for sparing no detail in ensuring the health and safety of our attendees. For a quick overview of how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in your workplace, check out this three-minute illustrated video from the World Health Organization:



Each month in Fraser HUBdates, we will share news about the stage we’re at in the process of design and construction. We’ll keep you in the loop about the progress being made, challenges we’ve faced, and what’s coming up next.  

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