Tallest modular housing tower approved
May 11, 2023
Bird Construction Inc. (Bird) has been awarded a construction management contract to build a 14-storey modular housing project. It would be the tallest modular tower ever built in Canada.
The $50 million project is part of a joint agreement between the City of Vancouver, BC Housing, and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to deliver a minimum of 300 permanent supportive homes on five city-owned sites.
The volumetric steel modular tower offers 14 floors of housing units on a rapid, repeatable scale. It will be built on East King Edward Avenue in Vancouver.
The modular construction allows for customization to create a look and feel comparable to current purpose-built rental apartments, according to Bird president and CEO Teri McKibbon.
“With off-site design and construction of the units, the 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,” said a company statement.
The housing development will be operated by two B.C. Indigenous organizations.
The project’s final design was delivered by Stantec and Bird's Stack Modular business. The companies say the prefabricated modular construction method will “reduce construction waste, expedite the construction process, and reduce costs.”
However, despite the use of modular construction, the per-suite cost of the building will be around $500,000 per unit, similar to BC Housing projects being built conventionally as wood-frame construction in Metro Vancouver.