News & Updates

Cutting Edge

A cutaway illustration of the Vienna House project highlights numerous design and engineering innovations captured in the project, including prefabricated balconies, HRV ventilation, and air source heat pumps for domestic hot water.
Myriad design and engineering innovations combine to increase performance, resilience, and lower costs.

As a National Housing Demonstration project, Vienna House is a platform to showcase innovations in construction. The project highlights successful construction methods used internationally, as well as techniques to improve the quality and affordability of sustainable and resilient housing across Canada.

Recently, SCIUS Advisory and BC Housing co-produced a series of seven Builder Insight bulletins, to provide information how the Vienna House project is putting innovation to work. BC Housing is hosting these bulletins at its Research Centre Library, and we are pleased to make them available here as well.

Bulletin 1: Overview of Innovation

The Overview of Innovation bulletin offers a high-level overview of all of the innovations that the Vienna House project will showcase, including actions and strategies to improve liveability, resilience, and more.

Bulletin 2: Process Innovation

The Process Innovation bulletin describes the innovative technologies and collaborative processes that informed the
Vienna House design and specifications, including the collaboration with the City of Vienna, Austria.

Bulletin 3: Wood, Prefabrication, and Mass Timber

Vienna House is being built with a mass timber light wood frame hybrid structure. As explained in the Wood, Prefabrication, and Mass Timber bulletin, the City of Vancouver is supporting mass timber as part of its strategy to lower embodied carbon emissions. It also has the potential to significantly reduce housing construction costs.

Bulletin 4: Digital Project Delivery and BIM

The Digital Project Delivery and BIM bulletin unpacks how digital-data driven project delivery using Building Information Modelling/Management (BIM) provides opportunities for collaboration and early identification of construction issues. It also facilitates maintenance and operations activities.

Bulletin 5: Testing of Envelope Details

The Testing of Envelope Details bulletin dives into how the Vienna House team designed and engineered energy performance into the very fabric of the building. The building envelope, or enclosure, will be extremely well insulated and meticulously sealed for airtightness.

Bulletin 6: Landscaping and Public Realm

The Landscaping and Public Realm bulletin explores how the project will provide residents with access to nature, public space and community amenities—places where people can connect, exercise and build social bonds. All are critical to support healthy living.

Bulletin 7: Sustainability and Resilience

To address sustainability, the project team designed Vienna House as a near-zero-emissions building. The Sustainability and Resilience bulletin explains how this will cut carbon emissions while increasing comfort for occupants. It is targeting Passive House certification, which aligns with Step 4, Part 3 of the BC Energy Step Code.