The key is to beat the "Special" at its own game: make better use of precious land within current by-laws and stop using the zoning requirements as an excuse for inferior housing.
The City of Vancouver has issued a building permit to our prototype, through normal approval process and in a cooperative spirit. Major costs are determined by a building's basic shape. Our governing concept is to make this house as compact as feasible, for an equivalent amount of contained space.
A smaller footprint translates to less roof, less perimeter and less surface area (with downstream operating savings), shorter service and drainage runs, shorter spans and less site intrusion and other direct results.
The smaller footprint leaves more free ground, more unshaded yard, more siting flexibility and more amenity potential. The smaller house width allows larger side yards, more light penetration, easier access, greater safety and more side windows. The three levels bring back the front walk- up, respecting the traditional sense of entry and scale in harmony with the familiar streetscape. Siting the house forward on the lot enhances that rhythm while maximizing controlled use of a large back garden.
The tri-level house has superior internal zoning for privacy and circulation. Energy consumption is reduced. More opportunity is provided (with larger front and back facades) for customizing options. The basic prototype is expandable to the back at all levels. It features stacked plumbing, heating and utility cores (including laundry chute); cathedral entry; shingled roof; and, with its acceptance by authorities under existing by-laws, no unusual front-end development costs.
(Excerpt from official publication)
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