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.”