July 29, 2022

Lead applicant: Sooke Region Communities Health Network
Lead municipality: District of Sooke
Sector: Energy (Sustainable Affordable Housing - SAH)
Project type: Feasibility study
Approved funding through the Green Municipal Fund: $175,000

Sooke Region Communities Health Network (SRCHN) Cooperative provides a variety of services from mental health support to food security in the Sooke Region in British Columbia. SRCHN partnered with the Sooke Seniors Drop in Centre Society (SSDCS) to build a proposed 79-unit mixed-use building for seniors (Elders Centre). Thanks to this partnership, SSDCS may resume activities in offering free or low-cost programming to seniors including lunches, dinners/banquets, games nights, and educational opportunities. The SRCHN team members also reached out to the T’Sou-ke First Nation to discuss how the project may benefit the Indigenous community in Sooke. There may be Indigenous-focused programming in the Elders Centre, and units specifically dedicated to elders from the Nation.

This project promotes inclusivity in that the Drop In Centre and commercial components will serve the entire region, featuring indigenous art and culture integration. There will also be means for youth and elders engagement through intergenerational programming. Space will be available for Youth service providers to run programs.

The study will assess the feasibility of using several energy-efficient technologies to exceed the BC Energy Step Code 4 towards FCM’s total net energy use intensity (TEUI) threshold of 80kWh/m2. Several design features may contribute to this goal, including the use of mass timber technology, an airtight envelope, a high-performance central heat system, triple glazed windows, heat recovery ventilators and solar controls.

The SAH study grant will support the applicant in hiring consultants to complete the appropriate energy modelling, architectural and structural design, landscaping, and financial analysis. Results from this study will support the organization in accessing additional funding from CMHC and FCM for their capital project.

Innovative aspect(s):

  • The project team will consider the use of mass timber technology to provide large open spaces in the common areas. This technology is an emerging construction method that uses wood products to produce panels and beams, which can replace concrete and steel. As it displaces GHG-intensive steel and concrete, and may be locally sourced, it can significantly reduce the embodied carbon in buildings.
  • Applying a self-adhered membrane to assembly, the team will target a very airtight envelop design. This type of assembly minimizes heat loss due to infiltration and performs better than code requirements.

Replicability:

To increase the project’s success, one of the members on the development team is an architect with experience in building Co-housing in the UK1. He is also on the board of the Canadian Senior Cohousing Society and will provide advice on how this project may integrate features of cohousing to ensure social participation and connection.

Affordability:

Twenty percent of units will rent at shelter rates; fifty percent of units will offer Rent Geared to Income rates (RGI, up to a rental income limit set by BC Housing); and the remaining thirty percent of units will rent at ten percent below market rental rates.

(Project description from original funding application)

Green Municipal Fund
Climate change
Energy
Housing
Inclusive communities
Infrastructure
Sustainability
© 2023 Federation of Canadian Municipalities