Bird to build Canada’s tallest modular project ever

The 14-storey project is for BC Housing’s Permanent Supportive Housing Initiative.

A rendering shows the design of a 14-storey modular housing project in Vancouver. – Stantec

Key Takeaways:

  • The 14-storey tower will consist of 109 studio homes.
  • The final design was delivered by Stantec and Bird’s Stack Modular business.
  • The project is valued at $50 million.

The Whole Story:

Bird Construction will help build a 14-storey modular project in Vancouver – the tallest of its kind in Canada.

The company announced it has been awarded a construction management services contract for BC Housing‘s Permanent Supportive Housing Initiative, located on East King Edward Avenue in Vancouver. The 14-storey modular project is valued at approximately $50 million.

The project is part of a joint agreement between the city of Vancouver, BC Housing, and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) to deliver a minimum of 300 permanent supportive homes on five city-owned sites. The East King Edward Avenue building will consist of 109 studio homes, with the base of the building holding a commercial kitchen, dining room, multi-purpose room, and tenant laundry. The building will be collaboratively operated by Vancouver Native Housing Society and Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society.

The project design was supported by Bird’s pre-construction design services, with the final design delivered by Stantec and Bird’s Stack Modular business. The seamless exterior design will include elements that represent Coast Salish and Urban Indigenous Peoples, with the facade highlighted by timber-like panels and blank exterior wall space for culturally themed murals. It will follow the Passive House green building design standard, and the prefabricated modular construction method is expected to reduce construction waste, expedite the construction process, and reduce costs.

According to Bird, the volumetric steel modular tower offers 14 floors of units on a rapid, repeatable scale. The team stated that the approach allows for customization to meet the community’s needs and creates a look and feel comparable to current purpose-built apartments. They added that he modular approach substantially reduces construction time, facilitating faster occupancy than traditional builds and reducing the impact on the local community during construction, while ensuring strict quality control, rigorous safety standards, and significant energy performance in line with Passive House standards. 

They believe that these benefits position modular construction as an efficient solution to Canada’s housing crisis and long-term care capacity challenges, as well as for the delivery of other vital infrastructure with repeatable requirements.

“We are proud to be selected to provide our forward-leaning accelerated construction method to communities in need of housing. Modular construction is gaining considerable momentum in North America and our Bird Stack team has been actively demonstrating the benefits to build more efficiently and fast-track delivery of important infrastructure to the market,” said Teri McKibbon, president and CEO of Bird. “The strong design partnership, coupled with early engagement and collaboration between the project partners and the community, has ensured this vital housing initiative will move forward.”


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