FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Construction is progressing on a new affordable housing project being built in Fort St. John through a partnership between BC Housing and BC Hydro.
The City of Fort St. John and contractor Western Canadian Property Group gave officials and media a tour of the six-storey wood-frame building, which is currently under construction on 93rd Avenue. The building will contain 35 two-bedroom and 15 three-bedroom units, with five of them wheelchair accessible.
The building has been designed to meet Passive House standards for energy efficiency, and features exterior walls with an air barrier and eight inches of insulation, triple-pane windows, and has been oriented to optimize solar gain.
“Conventional wisdom would have it orient the long sides to the south to maximize your heat gain. But what that does is put half the building on the north side. We ran the numbers, for the passive house performance, we needed the heat gain in the winter. So, we wanted to maximize the amount of sun exposure in the winter,” said architect Paul Hammond.
Once the building is complete, 40 units will be available for rent by Site C construction workers and their families, with the remaining 10 units to be made available immediately as affordable rental housing. After construction on Site C is finished, all 50 units will be provided as affordable housing for low- and moderate-income households.
Project Manager Trevor Doyle said that the building is slated to be finished sometime in December, which is also when the building’s first residents would be able to move in.