By: Paul Choptuik, Coordinating News Editor
On July 4, 2019, the Parcel 21 housing project, also known as Lot 21, won the Net-Zero Energy-Ready Challenge (NZERC), along with 10 other housing projects in the province.
Parcel 21 will be built for graduate students and mature students with young children. The NZERC award is part of the Net-Zero Energy-Ready Challenge, an incentive-based program that, according to Better Builds BC, rewards buildings “that are designed to achieve the top tier of the BC Energy Step Code.” The latter is an optional code, that according to its website, “goes above and beyond the requirements of the BC Building Code.”
The Peak reached out to SFU Community Trust for comment on the announcement and spoke to Dale Mikkelsen, vice-president of development for SFU Community Trust.
“We were excited to apply for it. We’re always looking for opportunities to bring additional value to a project, which either helps us create more energy-efficiency or more value to the project itself,” Mikkelsen said.
The Net-Zero Energy-Ready Challenge program, administered by Integral Group Consulting, carries a value of $2.5 million and will give up to $390,000 in incentives to its winners.
In addition to meeting a number of criteria, those who were interested in being considered for this program had to send an expression of interest by November 30, 2018. Financial incentives were offered to 16 projects during this preliminary phase according to Mikkelsen.
“16 projects received that phase one incentive, which was $18,000 to do all of that extra modelling and energy design that typically isn’t included in a normal project budget,” he recounted.
After the preliminary phase, participants then had to submit a full application by March 30, 2019.
“As noted, there [were] 11 projects out of the 16 that did the preliminary work that were awarded the full incentive value,” Mikkelsen stated.
The $390,000 is comprised of design incentives capped at $40,000 that all full applications were eligible to receive, and $350,000 of NZER incentives which only the 11 winners will receive.
The value awarded to each winner is directly tied to the type of building and its size. As such, Parcel 21 will receive approximately $100,000 from the province, which Mikkelsen says is different than other funding sources.
“What we appreciated with this one versus other funding is that it truly is cash into the project, so we’re allowed to take the $100,000 and use it for those energy performance standards within the building itself.”
According to the backgrounder attached to the press release, Parcel 21 will be mainly framed with wood, built with Forest Stewardship council-certified local timber. It will also have outdoor dining space, a common courtyard, and shared commons.
Some of the energy improvements that will be in Parcel 21 include high performance windows, sunshades, a heat-recovery ventilation system, and a super-insulated building envelope.
Other recipients of the ward included construction projects at the University of Victoria and the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus. All the winners will showcase their projects at an open house later this year.
The full press release can be found on the B.C. government’s website. More information on the Parcel 21 project, including a few artist renderings, can be found through the engineering firm Associated’s website, which has been retained to provide structural and electrical engineering services on the project.
The project team working on Parcel 21 is composed of Local Practice, Space2place, Associated Engineering, Rocky Point, Gage Babcock, RDH, Heatherbrae, and Peak Construction Group.