passive house towers

World’s tallest passive towers set for Vancouver

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

A new proposed project at 1400 Alberni Street will make Vancouver home to the world’s tallest passive house towers. The joint venture development by Landa Global Properties and Asia Standard Americas will feature two condo towers at 48 and 43 storeys. The tallest Passive House in the world is currently a 31-storey high-rise residential building in Bilbao, Spain.

“These types of buildings are the future and we want to be at the cutting edge of that shift,“ says Kevin Cheung, CEO of Landa Global Properties. “While they are more complicated to build, we are looking forward to being pioneers and creating prototypes for a lot of equipment that doesn’t yet exist. We believe we can be leaders in zero emission building development and design and pave the way for other projects like this in future.”

Passive House is a rigorous building standard developed in Germany that significantly improves energy efficiency and comfort, and it reduces a building’s ecological footprint. This standard can be applied to any building type and reduces the amount of energy needed to heat and cool it by almost 90 per cent. As a result they produce very little carbon pollution. It’s why both Vancouver and the Province of B.C. are supportive of these buildings.

“Vancouver is famous for its concrete glass towers but what’s exciting about this announcement is that the city can show the world how to build a high-performance Passive House tower”, says Passive House consultant, Eesmyal Santos-Brault.  “If we can build a tower that still makes money and is good for the environment and doesn’t consume much energy or carbon, that’s a win-win for everybody.”

Designed by New York-based Robert A.M. Stern Architects and Vancouver firm MCM Partnership, the project will feature 450 homes including 129 rental units and a 10,000 square foot daycare. The anticipated completion date is by 2022.

The City of Vancouver is aiming to have all new building produce zero emissions by 2030 and the province is aiming to have all new buildings be net-zero by 2032. While Passive House is the norm in some cities and countries around the world, it’s relatively new to North America, with Metro Vancouver being the home to most of them, including single-family homes, duplexes and low-rise multi-family residential.

“There will be tremendous value for the trades, manufacturers, designers, builders and developers to learn and find innovative solutions to see these towers built to the Passive House standard. And those solutions will translate into better and healthier homes for the families who will occupy them,” says Gil Kelley, general manager of Planning, Urban Design and Sustainability for the City of Vancouver.

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