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An affordable rental housing pilot project is underway in Vancouver that will help BC Housing evaluate innovative building materials and designs aimed at tackling affordability, inclusion and climate change.

The project, called Vienna House, is in the initial design phase. It will be proposed as a six-storey building with approximately 100 units at the intersection of Victoria Drive and Stainsbury Avenue in East Vancouver. The project is a partnership between BC Housing, the City of Vancouver, and More Than a Roof Housing Society.

Vienna House will showcase innovative materials and processes designed to deliver high-energy performance with very low greenhouse gas emissions. This includes exploring prefabricated building components made from renewable materials and an integrated design process that brings all partners together at regular intervals to solve project challenges and maximize opportunities for efficiency.

The Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency and Vancouver’s Public: Architecture + Communication are creating the initial design concept for Vienna House and moving it through the rezoning process. If approved, the project would be built to meet the requirements of the Passive House standard. As a result, future tenants would use very little energy for heating and cooling and, in compliance with the City of Vancouver’s Zero Emissions Building Plan, the building would be designed to minimize climate pollution.

The Urban Innovation Research Group at the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) Sustainability Initiative would study Vienna House in depth, from start to finish, to ensure the project creates a wealth of evidence to inform construction best practices and policy development.

The Vienna House project is also the signature piece of a collaboration between the City of Vancouver and the City of Vienna, Austria, to explore new materials and approaches to building affordable housing. A similar project, called Vancouver House, will be built in Austria while Vienna House is underway.

For regular updates on the project, visit the project’s dedicated website at: