Construction on Vancouver’s newest affordable housing complex began less than two weeks ago on December 21, but it is already quickly taking shape to the extent that it has reached its full height.
This is because the three-storey-tall structure is temporary and modular, which allows for an ultra-quick and lower-cost construction process compared to conventional methods. The 14,875-square-foot project is located at a vacant site, a former gas station and urban farm, on the southeast corner of the intersection of Main Street and Terminal Avenue and will consist of 40-single-occupancy units upon completion.
Each unit will be approximately 250 square feet in size, including a small kitchen and private bathroom and features such as individual climate control. There will also be shared indoor and outdoor amenity space and a central library.
The entire project is expected to cost $3.5 million to build, with each unit pegged at between $80,000 to $90,000.
When the site is ready for a permanent development, the structure and its stilt-like foundation sitting on gravel that has been graded can be relocated to another site.
Modular housing has become an attractive type of affordable housing development for the City of Vancouver as it provides those in need of housing with a relatively cheap, quick, and efficient option. It is expected that the housing complex will be ready for occupation next month.
Last fall, the City contracted Calgary-based Horizon North to design, fabricate, and build the complex. The company is best known for building similar housing projects for workers in Alberta’s mining and oil industries.
As part of a wider umbrella pilot project, another temporary modular housing project will be built on the roof of a multi-storey parkade facing the alleyway on 1060 Howe Street, a below-market housing complex that was formerly the Bosman Hotel.