GEORGIA GREEN ECO 4-PLEX - Vancouver, BC

JURY COMMENT -
This project was notable for the quality of its planning and for the impressive energy performance numbers. The refined aesthetics, the clever circulation system and the beautifully laid out and light filled interiors make this a welcome addition to a rather bland and banal residential neighbourhood. The superior building envelope, including high-performance windows, are indicative of the considered approach to passive design, focusing more on the reduction of energy loads than on state-of-the-art energy technology.

In a city facing significant issues of housing affordability and choice, this project set out to offer an alternative solution. Four compact, efficient units in a range of sizes, located close to an intensely urban mixed-use corridor, are designed to attract a demographic range from young singles to young families to multigenerational households.
The investors’ requirement for highly marketable mountain views, the limitations of a narrow urban north-south site, and a commitment to energy efficiency were balanced to achieve high-performing, desirable units on a constrained site. With building orientation options limited, envelope efficiency was the first priority, creating the conditions to right-size and maximize the utility of high-efficiency systems.
The airtight envelope incorporates triple-glazed windows and skylights, while other sustainable design strategies include: rainwater capture in underground cisterns to provide water for toilet flushing and irrigation, extensive provision of daylight and cross ventilation,  and access to transit and a major bike route within a block.
Complex unit configurations introduce light and air from multiple sides. Though each unit entrance is designed to create a sense of individual ownership, and rated party walls offer acoustic privacy, the unit configuration promotes informal interaction on and around the site.
Giving equal attention to the building’s exterior interaction with the site and the streetscape, the project contributes to neighbourhood regeneration, while demonstrating the potential for new housing types in a market flooded with homogenous products.
Designed to LEED Platinum, with a Walkscore of 95 and an Energuide rating of 85, this project sets an example for creative sustainability for local professionals and the public.

PROJECT PERFORMANCE

  • Energy intensity = 102 kWh/m2/year
  • Local materials [800 km radius] by value = 70% [estimate]
  • Recycled materials content = 20% [estimate]
  • Potable water consumption from municipal sources = 617L/occupant/year
  • Potable water reduction relative to reference building = 40%

PROJECT CREDITS

  • Architect SHAPE Architecture Inc. www.shape-arch.ca
    General Contractor Econ Construction
    Structural Engineer Fast + Epp
    Mechanical Engineer AME Group
    Electrical Engineer Nemetz [S/A] & Associates Ltd.
    Sustainability and LEED Consultant E3 Eco Group Inc.
  • Commissioning Agent Terra Mechanical
    Photos Eric Scott Photography www.ericscottphotography.com
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