Modular Building Institute

Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency (VAHA) 220 Terminal Avenue

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Main Category:
Modular Building Design
Horizon North Logistics Inc.
Vancouver, British Columbia
Building Use:
Transitional Housing
Gross Size of Project:
14785 Square Feet
Days to complete:

Award Criteria

  1. Architectural Excellence
    In response to an immediate need to address the City of Vancouver’s housing affordability challenges as quickly as possible, Horizon North was selected by the Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency (VAHA) to complete the city’s first-ever temporary modular housing development. The innovative, three storey 14,785 square foot (sq. ft.) transitional housing building provides interim homes for residents on low and fixed-income. The building features 40, 250 sq. ft. single occupancy suites with self-contained bathrooms and kitchens, individual climate control and a private living space. Four of the suites have been designed to accommodate people with accessibility requirements and feature customized layouts and user-friendly adaptive design. The central building features include communal indoor and outdoor amenity space, while the exterior façade features two murals by a local artist of the Wuikinuxv and Klahoose Nations, which reflect the history of the area.
  2. Technical Innovation & Sustainability
    Horizon North’s goal was to provide an innovative building solution that maximized the number of suites available, while also delivering on an expedited timetable. VAHA was looking for creative solutions to quickly deliver affordable housing on vacant city land as a short-term solution to fix immediate housing needs within the city. Through the clever use of innovative design ideas and products, the building can be relocated and reconfigured to fit a number of differing sites. Depending on what is required at a new site, another level or individual modules can be added or removed with only minimal changes to the exterior needed. In addition, as the building site was designated “contaminated”, Horizon North worked closely with the city to mitigate any ground disturbance. The building utilizes a reusable, entirely above grade multi-point foundation system, which allows for less site preparation, minimum ground disturbance and a quick, 45-day building demobilization and reassembly.
  3. Cost Effectiveness
    The City of Vancouver saw offsite construction as a cost-effective way to quickly increase the supply of affordable housing. With a reusable, reconfigurable design and multi-point foundation system, the entire building – from ramps through to recycling containers and paving stones – can be demobilized and reassembled at another site in the future at a fraction of the time and cost of constructing a new building. In addition, several other energy efficient and environmentally conscious aspects were incorporated into the building’s design to reduce long term environmental impact and day-to-day operating expenses, such as LED light fixtures, high-efficiency plumbing fixtures, occupancy sensors, energy efficient appliances and abuse resistant drywall.
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