The Dik Tiy Housing Project will meet the Canadian Certified Passive Housing requirements. The 19-unit apartment building on the corner of Main Street and Sixteenth Avenue is now accepting rental applications. Contributed Photo

Workshop an opportunity to learn more about Passive Houses

Energy efficient supportive housing also now taking applications.

Passive House Canada is hosting two events in Smithers to give people a better idea of what a passive house is and the benefits of building a project to meet Canadian Certified Passive Housing requirements, which is one of the highest energy efficiency building standards.

The first event will be an informal cafe at a local resident’s home on April 12. The second event will be held the following day. It will be a workshop that will introduce the concept of passive houses and high performance buildings.

Passive House Canada CEO Rob Bernhardt said this course is recommended for anyone wishing to learn more about their standards including construction industry employees, contractors and tradespeople.

“The workshops are important so residents are aware of the ability to provide a higher standard of housing. Smithers is a major community in the northern central part of the province and the site of a significant passive house building that is currently under construction,” he said.

The Passive House Standard of building construction requires up to 90 per cent less heating and cooling energy. Maintenance and operating costs remain low over the long term.

Bernhardt said there are two drivers for the trend towards high performance buildings.

“From a policy perspective, what is driving global building policies is the climate change imperative. Buildings are a major contributor to greenhouse gases emissions globally and nationally and fundamental improvements need to be made to improve that,” he said.

“But there is also the market driver that comes from the consumer perspective. These high performance buildings are simply better, they improve affordability, they improve air quality, comfort and hygiene.”

Passive house buildings are popping up faster in the north than Bernhardt can keep track of as there is no requirement to register a new build with the company.

Affordable housing passive house

The Dik Tiy Housing Society is currently building an affordable housing project with BC Housing at the corner of Main Street and Sixteenth Avenue that will meet the Canadian Certified Passive Housing requirements.

Vancouver based Cornerstone Architecture designed the project and architect Gwill Symons previously told The Interior News when construction began last year that it will be a very highly insulated, highly energy efficient building.

“The walls will be around an R60 [insulating value], where a typical wall in Vancouver is around R20, if it is built correctly. It will also be around R100 in the attic space, in the roof,” he said. “We also have triple glazed, very high performance windows [going in].”

The placement of different rooms was also taken into account for heat from the sun purposes.

The almost $6-million project is expected to be completed this spring. Dik Tiy Housing Society is now taking applications for tenants.

There are 19 units available for seniors and adults with developmental disabilities. The society is hoping people can move in on June 1.

To apply or for more information call High Road Services.

To register for either of the Passive House Canada events, check out their website at

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