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

“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,” said 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.”

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.

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.

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“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, 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 operations.”

The City currently has approximately 10 Passive House projects in development or recently completed, including Firehall 17, Gastown’s Water View and Portside childcare centres and the Marpole Community Centre. All of these buildings will have the benefits of the Passive House standard – indoor comfort with as little energy consumption as possible – with design flexibility and only slightly higher construction costs that will translate into big savings in operation costs.

Featured image: (City of Vancouver)

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