News

Thicker walls, not thicker sweaters recommended for warmth in new Vancouver construction report

The construction of townhouses and buildings under six storeys is the focus of a staff report recommending updates to the city's building bylaw in order to lower energy use and greenhouse gas consumption.  

"The updates are envelope focused, meaning walls, windows, doors and roofs as opposed to fuel focused," said Chris Higgins, green building planner with the city of Vancouver. 

The report recommends that the current width of outside walls be increased by an inch-and-a-half so more insulation can be added to the structure. 

The proposal is part of the city's plan to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from new constructions by 2030.

Source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-colu...

Vancouver looks to boost energy-efficiency standards in new homes under seven storeys

The City of Vancouver plans to boost green building requirements for new residential buildings under seven storeys, including “exceptionally large” single-family homes.

The energy efficiency measures, which would kick in March 1, 2018 if they’re approved by council next week, would cut greenhouse gas emissions from the affected buildings by 40 to 55 per cent, according to a city report. The measures include requirements for increased insulation and air tightness, and the use of improved windows, heat-recovery ventilators and more efficient equipment.

The additional green measures would increase building costs by an average of $3.50 per square foot, according to the city.

Sean Pander, a green building manager with the city, said housing affordability is “of critical importance” and suggested any additional construction costs brought on by the policy change would unlikely to be passed on to the buyers of new homes. 

Source: http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/va...

Skeena – Canada’s largest passive house

Vancouver, the self-styled “world’s greenest city” has built Canada’s largest passive house. It’s all part of an effort to combat a severe and pioneer a new pathway to zero emission buildings. That’s great because buildings account for 25 per cent of all carbon emissions worldwide.

Vancouver even has a Greenest City Action Plan and is working on a Zero Emissions Housing Plan. Vancouver is a coastal city and Sean Pander, Vancouver’s green buildings manager acknowledges this reality.

“We’ve got sea level rise, and we recognize that we’re one of those cities that’s going to live with the impact. With the fisheries and the changing water temperatures, the impacts are real, we’re starting to feel them here right now.”

“In Vancouver we’re looking to have all new buildings achieve zero emissions by the year 2030.”

Source: http://www.greenenergyfutures.ca/episode/s...

Things looking up for city’s second co-housing complex

Cohousing is a collaborative form of living in which residents develop close ties. Most own their homes within the complex, but they share large common areas, some common meals, as well as duties around the building. They benefit from social relationships and collective skills, which enable them to share responsibilities, interests and activities such as childcare, vehicles, tools and hobbies. Members determine how the cohousing group functions, which may include many or few rules. Decisions are made by consensus.

Brondwin’s group — Little Mountain Cohousing, a reboot of an earlier group of the same name — started recruiting members in 2015, and now its six-storey building is nearing reality. A model of the project, designed by Cornerstone Architecture, was unveiled at a September open house. Feedback was largely positive, according to city staff.

The Urban Design Panel, an advisory committee to the city, voted in support of the project at a Nov. 2 meeting in a 7-1 decision. The application is now going through the final staff review before it heads to public hearing sometime in the new year. In the meantime, Little Mountain Cohousing members hold regular meetings and meals to plan their future.

Source: http://www.vancourier.com/news/things-look...

Green Living: Passive-house project in East Vancouver sets new city standard for green buildings

A recent development, however, may just be one of the city’s most important environmentally minded initiatives to date: the construction of Canada’s largest “passive house” building, a structure so energy-efficient that experts estimate residential utility bills will cost as little as $10 a month.

Dubbed the Heights, the six-storey, 85-unit mixed-use property at 388 Skeena Street is slated to be complete next spring.

It joins more than 10,000 residential, institutional, and commercial properties across Canada that have been built according to passive house, a voluntary standard forwarded by German researchers that emphasizes significant levels of insulation, airtight design, and the recycling of outgoing warm air in highly energy-efficient buildings.

Source: http://www.straight.com/life/832816/green-...

Vancouver passive house project shows energy-efficient future

The City of Vancouver and the Pembina Institute are eager to see passive house projects like this take hold.

The Heights is being developed by Eighth Avenue Development Group and built by Peak Construction. Doug Wilson, president of Peak, said he got involved with the project when he was approached by Eighth Avenue president Ed Kolic.

The discussion of passive house started with Cornerstone Architecture principal Scott Kennedy early in the process. Since Kennedy is also an engineer, he and Wilson were able to have detailed discussions about the logistics of building to passive house standards.

Read More

Builders tour Canada’s largest ‘Passive House’ in Vancouver

Have you ever seen an apartment building wearing a sweater?

It’s not as wild an idea as it sounds, according to the Vancouver architect behind what will be the country’s largest near-zero emissions building when it’s finished.

The 85-unit, six-storey rental apartment building, located at East Hastings and Skeena streets, meets the European-pioneered Passive House standards, the highest environmental certification in the world.

“The first thing you do is put a really good sweater on the building,” explained Cornerstone Architecture principal Scott Kennedy, “that keeps the cold out in the winter and keeps the cold in in the summer. The idea is to actually moderate your climate better than a typical building.

“It's what we call an 'envelope-first' building.”

Source: http://www.metronews.ca/news/vancouver/201...

Second cohousing development in Vancouver planned in Riley Park neighbourhood

A second cohousing development is in the works. City hall has received an application to rezone three lots on Quebec Street in the Riley Park neighbourhood for a six-storey residential building.

The development will have 25 strata-titled homes to be owned by members of a group called Little Mountain Cohousing.

City staff and members of Little Mountain Cohousing will hold an open house from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. next Wednesday (September 21) at 4588 Clancy Loranger Way.

For more info check complete Georgia Straight article.

 

388 Skeena, one of the main options for City of Vancouver advances toward goal of spurring development of zero-emission green buildings

388 Skeena is a super-energy-efficient 85 unit apartment building being built the corner of Skeena and East Hastings streets. On its website, 8th Avenue Development Group describes the rental project as the “largest passive house building” in Canada.

The project designed by Cornerstone architecture under the strict requirements of the passive house standards. The description is bound to confuse those who wonder how a multifamily complex could ever be characterized as a “house” but In fact, the term passive house comes from the German word Passivhaus and does not refer exclusively to single-family homes.

It’s a voluntary standard for achieving outstanding energy efficiency in all buildings, including institutional and commercial structures. It has caught on in Europe and is undergoing serious scrutiny by officials in Vancouver.

For more info check complete Georgia Straight article.