The City of Vancouver recently celebrated certification for a new seven-storey Passive House project that is the tallest in the province of British Columbia. Located at 825 Pacific Street, the facility is an all-electric, near zero-emissions building that will be operated by a not-for-profit arts and culture organization.

Passive House is an internationally recognized certification for ultra-low energy buildings with a design approach that uses minimal energy through more insulation in walls, windows, doors, and roofs.

These buildings generally require 90 per cent less heating energy and 60 per cent less overall energy than typical buildings in Vancouver. They also provide year round comfort, better indoor air quality, and lower operating costs as the thicker insulation reduces energy bills and removes the reliance on fossil fuels to deliver heat.

“Vancouver’s new Passive House arts and culture hub is an exciting new space in our city, made possible by Community Amenity Contributions. This new affordable space means more artists will be able to create and tell their stories instead of worrying about their rent,” says Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart. “It also aligns with our efforts to reduce carbon pollution and do our part to respond to the urgency of the climate crisis by moving away from burning fossil fuels to heat our buildings and produce hot water, while also making buildings more resilient.”

The 825 Pacific Street project uses an electric air source heat pump to efficiently deliver domestic hot water heating, along with heating in the winter and cooling in the summer.  A heat recovery ventilator filters indoor air, helping to protect occupants during smoke events. This multi-purpose arts and culture hub will provide affordable artist work and gallery space, operated by a not-for-profit arts organization. The ground floor will serve as an art gallery and event space while the floors above will be rented out and fitted up as art studios.

The multi-use 825 Pacific Street Passive House project in Vancouver, B.C.

“By requiring the building to be designed and certified to the Passive House standard, and use no fossil fuels, this project will produce nearly zero carbon emissions in its operation,” said Craig Edwards, manager of energy and utilities for the City of Vancouver. “The building will meet the City’s requirement that all new City-owned facilities are constructed to a zero emissions standard, helping the City lower the carbon pollution of our City-owned portfolio of buildings, and act as a demonstration project to show how others can design and build commercial buildings to achieve near zero emissions in their operation.”

The project team includes:

  • Architect/Designer: Design Architect – ACDF Architecture and Architect of Record – IBI group
  • Contractor/Developer: Developer – Grosvenor America’s and General Contractor – Ledcor Group
  • Mechanical Engineer: Integral Group LLC
  • Owner: City of Vancouver
  • Passive House Certifier: Passive House Institute
  • Passive House Consultant: Morrison Hershfield (Building Enclosure Engineer)

There are approximately 10 Passive House projects in development or recently completed in Vancouver.

Learn more about Vancouver’s Zero Emissions Building Plan here.

Featured images by Ryan Snikvalds.

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