Innovative housing retrofits will benefit residents, environment
VANCOUVER - Residents of six buildings will soon benefit from renovations that will make homes safer, more energy-efficient, less polluting and more resilient to extreme weather.
Six design teams have been selected to develop retrofit designs for six low-to-mid-rise social housing buildings in Kamloops, Coquitlam, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Vancouver and Victoria.
The announcement from the Province, together with BC Housing, the City of Vancouver, the Metro Vancouver Housing Corporation (MVHC), the BC Non-Profit Housing Association and the Pembina Institute, marks the next stage in the Reframed Lab initiative, a building retrofit design program launched in June 2020.
The six design teams will exchange ideas on cutting carbon pollution (including technological solutions such as heat pumps, heat-recovery systems and low-carbon materials), driving down energy demand and improving climate-change resiliency, and will explore innovations in seismic upgrades and on-site solar generation.
The buildings' tenants will not be displaced from their homes during renovations, as most of the work will be on the buildings' exteriors. Work is scheduled to begin in fall 2022.
The design teams, selected through a request for proposals process undertaken in 2021, will create solutions for their assigned buildings with support from dozens of other construction- sector partners. Design teams, assigned buildings and locations are listed below.
- Read Jones Christoffersen Ltd.: Crossroads Inn, Kamloops, operated by ASK Wellness Society
- Evoke Buildings Engineering: Le Chateau, Coquitlam, operated by MVHC
- Williams Engineering Canada: Crown Manor, New Westminster, operated by MVHC
- Morrison Hershfield: Manor House, North Vancouver, operated by MVHC
- Entuitive: Dany Guincher Place, Vancouver, operated by Tikva Housing Society
- Low Hammond Rowe Architects: Medewiwin, Victoria, operated by Pacifica Housing
The Province is supporting the design and capital costs of this project through funding from the Capital Renewal Fund, a 10-year $1.1-billion investment committed to preserving and improving B.C.'s 51,000 units of social housing.
This initiative also received $460,000 from the Province's CleanBC Building Innovation Fund (CBBIF). The CBBIF Fund has provided $9.65 million to manufacturers, developers, builders and researchers to demonstrate and commercialize new energy-efficient and low-carbon building technologies. Their objective is to increase the availability, affordability and acceptability of made-in-B.C. building technologies that can be scaled up to help achieve provincial climate targets, prepare the market for future building regulations and drive economic development.
The City of Vancouver will be providing technical and regulatory guidance to support the work, which aligns with the city's climate and housing affordability goals. The cities of Kamloops, Coquitlam, New Westminster, North Vancouver and Victoria are also providing regulatory support for the projects in their communities.
David Eby, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing -
"We are supporting these six projects using cutting-edge technology to provide a model for deep energy upgrades, starting with the retrofits of six social housing buildings in B.C. This work will improve air quality and energy efficiency, helping with tenant comfort and operator expenses."
George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy -
"By working together with different agencies, organizations and orders of government, we're supporting innovative new ways to improve housing options for everyone. Through CleanBC, we're investing in better, more energy-efficient social housing that will reduce climate pollution, support new job opportunities in the clean-buildings sector and improve resiliency so we're better prepared for a changing climate."
Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation -
"By supporting made-in-B.C. innovation in our building sector, we're increasing the capacity of the B.C. building industry to meet the goals laid out in CleanBC, while providing good, family- supporting jobs. Our objectives are to increase the availability and affordability of made-in-B.C. low-carbon building solutions that can be scaled up to help achieve provincial climate targets and drive economic development."
Kennedy Stewart, mayor, City of Vancouver -
"Our partnership with Reframed Lab demonstrates that collaboration is key to successfully tackling climate change and making affordable housing more resilient to extreme weather events such as the heat dome that brought record-breaking temperatures to B.C. last year. By retrofitting existing multi-unit residential buildings in Vancouver and around B.C., we're prioritizing occupant safety, health and comfort, while protecting and improving our existing building stock, and advancing our climate goals by reducing emissions."
Jill Atkey, CEO, BC Non-Profit Housing Association -
"The climate emergency has arrived and people living in non-profit housing are among the most vulnerable to its impacts. At the same time, the non-profit housing sector is one of the largest energy consumers in B.C. The six projects announced today will help us develop a path forward to ensure people are protected and our footprint is reduced."
Tom-Pierre Frappé-Sénéclauze, B.C. director, Pembina Institute -
"In the midst of a climate emergency, B.C. has an opportunity to lead the world with local know-how and products for the renovation wave that will be required in all cities. With careful design, deep retrofits not only reduce energy bills and carbon pollution, but they can bring health benefits, resilience to climate risks, increased seismic resistance and extended life for our crucial housing infrastructure."
- The Reframed Lab aims to explore the technical and economic feasibility of renovations that integrate energy efficiency, decarbonization, seismic safety and climate adaptation.
- The retrofit projects aim to reduce annual energy demand by more than 50% and carbon emissions by approximately 80%.
- Envelope upgrades will reduce thermal heat loss, drafts, moisture and mould buildup to reduce utility costs and improve indoor air quality.
- Integrated with envelope improvements, fuel-switching strategies will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve heating-system efficiency.
- Seismic resilience will be incorporated as needed and optimized with the envelope work to reduce costs.
- Climate adaptation measures will improve interior air quality and protect residents in events such as forest fires, heat waves and floods.
- The buildings range in size from 11 to 50 units, totalling 189 units, and provide housing for families, seniors and people living with physical disabilities, mental-health and substance-use challenges.
To find out more about the Reframed Lab, visit: https://reframedinitiative.org/lab/
To learn about the steps the Province is taking to tackle the housing crisis and deliver affordable homes for British Columbians, visit: https://workingforyou.gov.bc.ca/
To learn about the CleanBC Roadmap to 2030, visit: www.cleanbc.ca
To learn more about action government is taking to support the clean-buildings sector, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/climate-change/clean-buildings