Architects Awarded for Fort St. John Passive House Apartments

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The new apartments at Site C in Fort St. John have gained international recognition from the Passive House Institute.

The new apartments at Site C in Fort St. John have gained international recognition from the Passive House Institute.

Low Hammond Rowe Architecture of Victoria designed the building, and the company recently received a Special SIGA Award for its work at the Institute’s 2021 conference in Wuppertal, Germany. Fourteen projects around the world were recognized, including new construction and renovations of housing, schools and office buildings.

“Buildings built to the Passive House standard require much less energy and significantly lower emissions are produced over their lifecycle. This is exactly what is vital for effective climate protection, ”said Jan Steiger, one of the CEOs of the Passive House Institute. “All the winners are a perfect example of how an extremely sustainable building standard can be implemented with high architectural quality and in completely different ways.

Construction of the six-story, 50-unit building began adjacent to the Fort St. John Fire Hall in 2017, and is part of the city’s agreement with BC Hydro on the site C. Au dam. When it opened in 2019, BC Hydro said it was the largest certified passive house building in British Columbia.

Designed by Low Hammond Rowe and built by Western Canadian Property Group, the apartments have been built to passive house standards to make them as energy efficient as possible. The building has been oriented north to south against conventional wisdom to ensure that every unit has access to direct natural light. Each end of the building has a series of fins – extensions of the walls to show how thick they are to keep the building as airtight and insulated as possible.

During the construction of the dam, 40 units are made available for hire by BC Hydro for employees working on the dam, while 10 units are available for community use. The full 50 units will be returned to the community for low and moderate income families when construction of the dam is complete.


Email Editor Matt Preprost at [email protected]


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