July 29, 2022

Lead applicant: Soroptimist International of Vancouver
Lead municipality: City of Vancouver
Sector: Energy (Sustainable Affordable Housing - SAH)
Project type: Feasibility study
Approved funding through the Green Municipal Fund: $175,000

Soroptimist International of Vancouver (SI Vancouver) is a well-established leader in providing social and economic empowerment programming to women and girls. Part of this mission includes delivery of affordable, sustainable housing with a focus on single-mothers, senior women and workforce women. SI Vancouver currently owns and operates one affordable housing site, and one jointly owned with another provider. This initiative would add 135 units to the organization’s portfolio.

The study will assess the feasibility of using several energy-efficient technologies to reach a net total energy use intensity (TEUI) of 80 kWh/m2, while following the City of Vancouver’s Green Building Policy for Rezoning requirements and the city’s Low Emissions Green Buildings objectives. The study will look at envelope efficiency and window-to-wall ratio, mechanical efficiency, enhanced commissioning, embodied emissions, and low-emitting materials. The project will also look at integrated rainwater management and green roof potential with a water detention tank. Other secondary benefits include, but are not limited to solar orientation, avian-friendly design, urban agriculture and accessibility to transit and bike networks.

The SAH study Grant will support the applicant in hiring consultants to complete the appropriate energy analysis, geotechnical report, electrical assessment, mechanical review, cost analysis, code review, architectural drawings and proforma revisions. The applicant also engaged with Light House Sustainable Building Center to input the project data into an Energy Star Portfolio Manager account to adequately report on the energy performance of the subsequent capital project.

Innovative aspect(s):

This is the first study under the SAH program with a project team led by women that will integrate a gender-based approach to the project’s design and development.

Replicability:

As required by the City of Vancouver, the airtightness, basic energy use data, refrigerant emissions, embodied emissions and rainwater management strategy will be monitored and reported on, which can produce useful data to be shared with other providers across the province and Canada.

Affordability:

Twenty percent of the units will rent at a shelter rate (deeply subsidized), fifty percent at Rent Geared to Income (based on BC Housing income limits) and thirty percent at 80% below median market rent, making this project 100% affordable.

(Project description from original funding application)

Green Municipal Fund
Climate change
Energy
Housing
Inclusive communities
Infrastructure
Sustainability
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