World’s tallest, most expensive, Passive homes rising
May 25, 2023
Curv tower, Vancouver
Vancouver’s Curv condo tower—expected to break ground in 2024—is slated to be the tallest residential tower in Vancouver at 60 storeys. It will also be the tallest Passive House building in the world according to Montreal-based developer Brivia Group.
And with condo prices starting at $1 million, it is likely to be the among the world’s most expensive Passive homes.
The tower is designed by architect Tom Wright from London-based WWK Architects.
The Curv site, which will feature the largest penthouse – 7,500 square feet – in the city, also has a unique history as one of Vancouver’s wildest real estate flips.
The tower is being built on a 0.37-acre infill site at 1059-1075 Nelson Street—the highest point of land downtown.
Back in March 2016, the site, which then contained two old walk-up apartment buildings, was bought for $16 million. It was flipped weeks later for $60 million and then resold within a month for $68 million to China-linked Hensen Developments Ltd.
That pencils to nearly $4,000 per square foot just for raw land costs.
The site was transferred as a share sale, which avoided provincial property purchase tax.
In June 2020, Hensen achieved rezoning approval from the City of Vancouver for a 585-foot-high energy-efficient tower with a total of 501 housing units, including 350 luxury condos, 102 social housing units and 49 market rentals. In April 2021, Hensen sold the land and the approvals to Montreal-based Brivia Group, which then announced the Curv tower.
Brivia won’t release the price they paid for the site, but suggested it is higher than what Hensen bought the land for five years earlier.
The total floor area is 427,000 square feet, giving the project a floor space ratio density of 24.7 times the size of the 17,300 square-foot lot.
Curv fits into the City of Vancouver’s plan to transition to zero-emissions buildings in all new construction by 2030.
The building offers a blanket of insulation, with no thermal bridges or weak points in the building’s envelope to allow heat to pass. It will also have windows that prevent radiation and solar gain, with the ability to block up to 99 per cent of UV rays through triple-pane electrochromic glass, more popularly known as smart glass.
Brivia estimates that a 610-square-foot one-bedroom condo will cost approximately $1,700 per square foot, or $1 million. The penthouse will cost about $8,000 per square foot, or $60 million.