Modular Building Institute

Yale First Nation Community Housing 6-Plex

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Main Category:
Modular Building Design
Metric Modular
Yale, British Columbia
Building Use:
Community Housing
Gross Size of Project:
5376 Square Feet
Days to complete:

Award Criteria

  1. Architectural Excellence
    The project consisted of six, two-storey, attached townhomes to be used as a desperately needed housing solution for Yale First Nation. Each module was pre-fabricated at Britco Construction’s Agassiz facility and the modules were approximately 32 feet long and fourteen feet wide. After bad experiences with previous on-site builders cutting corners and building poor-quality homes, we were able to provide six high-quality housing units for the community. The design of the building allowed each tenant to have a private outdoor space, while still maintaining the feeling of community. As a Passive House, the building was specifically placed on site to take advantage of solar gains and area views.
  2. Technical Innovation & Sustainability
    In order to meet rigid Passive House standards, each module specification included: • Efficient building shape – using a ratio known as the ‘Shape Factor’ (the ratio of the buildings surface area divided by its volume) the heat loss from a building envelope is minimized. • Superinsulation – incorporation of the correct levels of insulation performance depending on the climate zone. • Advanced windows – using triple glazed units, with two low-e coatings, argon gas fill and insulated frames and spacers. • Airtightness – prevention of air infiltration and protection against moisture damage. • Thermal bridge-free construction – preventing an area of the building which has a significantly higher heat transfer than the surrounding materials, resulting in an overall reduction in thermal insulation of the building. Passive House standards reduce energy costs by up to 80%, drastically increase occupant comfort and reduce the GHG emissions of the building by 80% during occupancy.
  3. Cost Effectiveness
    As this was our 2nd Passive House project, we were able to save our customer money through the experience we gained during the previous project. We also utilized the 3 Certified Passive House Consultants on staff rather than hiring expensive outside consultants. Our experienced design, production and site teams were able to prevent building envelope issues before the modules arrived on-site. We were able to reduce the number of pre-tests and consultants visits, while still achieving an above average building envelope airtightness test result. We completed most of the roof construction off-site in order to reduce site work, preinstalling the exterior building envelope (siding), and pre-fabricating porch elements. Previous winter energy bills for the Yale First Nation were in excess of $250 for one month. The energy bill they received after over a month of occupancy was under $20. This on-going savings will make drastic and lasting impact to the economics of this community.
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