Behind the Project: Innisfil GO Station
In Innisfil, Ontario, a GO Transit station is currently in development as part of the Metrolinx GO Expansion program. Construction is expected to start at the proposed GO station in 2023. Lindsey Kindrat, Senior Associate and Director of Sustainable Consulting is providing sustainable consulting services on the project. Recently, we caught up with her to learn more.
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, Lindsey. Can you tell us more about the project?
Thanks for having me. The Innisfil Go Station is an exciting development that will be situated on the 6th Line & 20th Sideroad. Formerly, the area was greenfield. Now, they’re building the station which is going to include parking, platforms, amenity areas, and kiosks where shop owners can sell tickets and washrooms.
Both Metrolinx and the Town of Innisfil have sustainability imperatives that need to be met. For instance, Metrolinx has a DS-05 Sustainable Design Standard, which requires LEED® certification for the station. Innisfil also has many supportive complimentary sustainability requirements around habitat protection and stormwater management as well as energy, water, and materiality.
Essentially, our role is to ensure the design and construction comply and conform with those sustainability requirements. We’ve been working with developers, Cortel Group, and the architect, IBI Group to ensure this happens.
This sounds like a great project for the city. What have been some challenges you’ve faced and how did you solve them?
Mainly, we’ve been dealing with non-consulting related delays around the minister’s zoning orders and the community consultation. We started working on the project last July, but it went on hold in September as we waited for the town to give us the go ahead. The discussions were mainly surrounding sustainability measures rather than design since the proposed station is fairly standard with its rectangular shape and use of concrete and rebar.
Metrolinx also has technical requirements for sustainability, so our teams gathered data to support sustainable design requirements, such as the use of Envision, a sustainability rating system to lower the amount of embodied carbon. One of the main keys to success on this project was open communication with team members and the local community to ensure everyone was satisfied with every step of the project.
What’s been your favourite part of the project?
My favourite part has been working with the developer. To me, regional planning and development is where you set up the whole stage for a plan. That plan can incorporate the right elements of community well-being, smart fiscal management, and environmental management. These three things make up sustainability and the essential framework for all projects.
I’ve also rarely had the opportunity to work on greenfield, so this was unique since it’s transit related and we’re using Envision. We were able to present to Metrolinx on how Envision is a more practical system rather than using LEED. Envision is designed for civil infrastructure and unoccupied infrastructures that typically don’t have regular occupancies or conditioned spaces. It was powerful being able to showcase the Envision rating system and the value of this environmental management system for future projects as well.
Is there anything else we should know?
The carbon focus at Entuitive is very important, but we must also look at water conservation, human health, and wellbeing. We need a balance of these considerations in every project. The great thing about Envision is that there’s a whole section on climate resiliency and carbon, so we’re specifically targeting credits that our clients will be able to work on to be more carbon accountable and responsible. It’s great to see since that carbon piece is not well articulated in any other sustainable building rating system.
Thanks so much for taking the time to share this great project with us, Lindsey. If you would like to learn more about the Innisfil GO Station development, reach out to Lindsey here.