Modular Building Institute
 

MBI and BD+C Modular Advantage | Summer 2011
 

Repurposed Olympic Legacy Modular Buildings Providing Housing for
Low-Income Seniors

 

Seniors across British Columbia are now being provided with much needed affordable living accommodations thanks to an agreement between the Province and the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games to convert modular buildings for new uses at new locations. Over 320 temporary modular housing units from the Olympic and Paralympic Village at Whistler are currently being relocated and converted into 156 permanent, affordable apartments in six communities across the province. The sites for the new buildings are located in Chetwynd, Chilliwack, Enderby, Saanich, Sechelt and Surrey.

Surerus Place in Chetwynd is the first Olympic legacy building to officially open. It’s a $3.35 million project that includes eight units of affordable supportive housing for low-income seniors and four assisted living apartments.

The complex is comprised of six suite modules and two common area modules incorporating a commercial kitchen, dining and lounge areas separated by a see-through fireplace, office and meeting room, scooter storage, as well as laundry and mechanical rooms. Extensive windows and patio doors overlook exterior covered patios and resident gardens. Designed to meet the accessibility needs of senior residents, the individual suites include small kitchens with an eating area and living room.

To minimize the amount of site work required and reduce the construction timeline in a region with limited skilled labor and a short building season, the facility was designed to maximize the use of factory-built modular components. The lumber used in the construction of the modules was primarily sourced from B.C. forests damaged by Pine Beetle infestation and which otherwise would not have been used. The modules were constructed with special consideration for the comfort, safety and security requirements of the residents including high-tech nurse-call wiring and individually controlled heating systems. The window and door hardware as well as the plumbing fixtures and controls were all selected based on ease-of-use by elderly and handicapped residents.

The project was completed by Britco Structures, the largest modular manufacturer in
the Pacific Northwest and an Official Supplier to the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Using off-site modular construction for the buildings allowed for the efficient completion of the complex in a remote area that is otherwise very expensive to build in. To reduce transport and installation costs, some site completion materials were packed into the modules in the building areas where they would be required on site. The modular component system greatly reduced the impact of the development on the small community and the building features many green and sustainable innovations such as a heat recovery ventilation system, high-efficiency glazing and appliances, as well as timer and motion-sensor controlled lighting.
 





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