Project Specs

Location: Nanaimo, British Columbia
Climate Zone: Cool-Temperate
Building Type: Multi-Unit Residential
Project Phase: Certified
Certification Type: Passive House Classic
Year of Construction: 2017
Gross Floor Area (m2): 2632
Treated Floor Area (m2): 782.6
PHPP Verification: Download

Project Description

Designed by DYS Architects for the Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre and funded by BC Housing, Nanaimo Passive House will provide 25 affordable suites for youth, elders and families of the local aboriginal community in Nanaimo.

While providing excellent southern exposure, the long, narrow site selected for the project presented a challenge to achieving both the social goals and energy targets for the project. The integrated client, consultant and construction team took a ‘no-compromise’ approach to meet these challenges.

The project consists of three blocks of ground oriented suites arranged around an open courtyard, which enables all suites to have cross-ventilation and solar access, while creating protected outdoor space shared by all residents. The simple building massing,designed for optimum solar access and efficiency, alludes to vernacular architectural traditions with a contemporary expression. Western red cedar over exterior insulation provides a lightweight and durable exterior assembly.

The Passive House building envelope provides for long-lasting, high-performance homes not normally achievable with typical mid-level housing. The simplicity of the building systems reduces maintenance costs, and the reduced energy consumption lowers the tenant’s monthly cost.

The principles of Passivehouse design are aligned with the client’s values and response to the site, community, and Aboriginal culture. The orientation of the buildings, the preservation of open space, the use of materials and systems, and the response to the culture are all elements of the design that are necessary to meet the needs for Passive House and Community.  The Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre is a non-profit organization that is committed to provide community based supportive facilities. Their goal for this project is to build a residential development that will highlight the goals and values of the community using the basic principles of Passive House planning and design, incorporating local resources traditionally used by indigenous people.

Owner: Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre
Project Manager: Walter Hoogland
Architect: DYS Architects
CPHD: Mark Ashby Architecture
Construction Manager: Saywell Construction Management
Mechanical: DAS
Electrical: Rocky Point Engineering
Structural: Herold Engineering
Landscape: Victoria Drakeford