Category: Architect Blog

Architect Blog

Multiplexes are coming to BC, are you ready for the change?

Lot multiplication is forced by the BC government, is this the right solution for our society? #MULTIPICATION

There has been much news about construction happening in the province, especially after new demand from the BC Government forced municipalities to add densification to their single-family homes.

June 2024 is the deadline for municipalities in BC to change their single family home zoned lots to multifamily so they can support 4 units or up to 6 units in some areas.

North Vancouver Modern home designer

Vancouver Multiplex home designer

 
I’d like to explain a bit more so every citizen knows their rights under the new bylaws.
 
Everyone needs an accommodation to live in. Some people buy a condo or rent one, and others buy land, or old homes and convert them to their needs; and others buy newly built ones.
Though, today’s topic will focus mostly on single family home lots, as most municipalities¬†call them ‚ÄėRS-1‚Äô.
Some municipalities, like the city of Vancouver, have changed their bylaw, and all single-family lots can be built in multi-units of three to four and, in some cases, up to six, and all sold separately to different homeowners.
But would that apply to all lots, or rather, every lot has to follow that?
 
 

Difference between single family lots and multiplexes:

Easy renovation

Fourplex homes are coming soon!

Traditionally, each single-family lot was eligible to build:
1. One house in a lot
2- One house with a legal secondary suite under one ownership
3- One house with a legal secondary suite plus a laneway home under the same ownership (in some municipalities, the allowed units were only two units. That means if you had a laneway home, you shouldn’t have a legal secondary suite on the same house)
 
But with the new bylaw that has been demanded by the BC Government to municipalities, the following units can be built along with the three mentioned above: Considering the fact that all municipalities are reviewing their bylaws and are under revision until June 2024.
 
4- A duplex unit on a lot sold to two separate owners
5- A triplex on a lot sold to three separate owners
6- A triplex home plus a laneway home on the back sold to four separate owners
7- If the property is close to a major transit connection, the lot can have six-unit buildings, and the ownership as a rental is under negotiation.
 
For all the options above, before closing a contract with a contractor, have your designer or architect confirm your preferred lot condition as well as your preferences, and then you can establish your contract with your home builder.
 
The architectural drawings are the first issue to be resolved under this frequency. There are many other drawings and engineers involved during your building permit applications, and someone has to take care of them all for you.
 

 

What defines a building? 

Designing a building is not just locating different rooms based on their functionalities and making a box to house people. (this might be a common practice in some countries or done by many developers who don’t care about society.)
But I want to ask my readers, are you looking for a shelter to house you, or do you want to live in a home that can satisfy your soul, provide comfort, and fulfill your happiness?

A society in which the government and developers just care about creating shelters without fulfilling human needs, learn the lesson the hard way by experiencing unhappy people.

Neglecting community building leads to family issues, crime, suicide, and abuse..

AI is an exceptional tool to be used by humans who can create a place to live, work, and thrive. to enjoy life and create memories, to grow old and have fun with other members of the community, and to contribute to society.

 

What do you need to supply to the city for a building permit?

 

The drawings to submit to the city are as follows:
1. Lot survey drawing (done by a professional survey engineer)
2. Architectural drawings, which include floor plans, elevations, cross sections, details, and code-related information. A professional designer can provide up to four units in a lot.
3- Landscape drawing or arborist report if there are trees involved on the property
4- Energy report provided by a professional energy advisor to present the building meeting new code requirements
5- Structural drawings with required details
6- Structural paperwork and schedules
7- Interior design drawings for the better understanding of the homeowner to learn about the finished products (not required by the city permit)
The electrical load calculations should start soon at the design stage if there is a requirement for an electrical panel upgrade from 200 to 400 amps. The paperwork should start soon as this process will take some time as well.
 
Different municipalities have different timelines for going over the provided documents, and some are more strict than others in some aspects of these documents.
 
If you are busy and don’t want to get involved with all the paperwork, have your designer apply for the permit on your behalf. They will have to fill out a form supplied by the city to allow that person to act on your behalf. (your agent)
 
In that case, the agent will let you know of any special changes required or any payment requests by the city and they will manage it in a much more hassle-free and less time-consuming manner for you.

 

I would like you to share your thoughts and let me know what you think. Our homes and our workplaces mean so much more to us than a shelter and a place to perform a work activity. So we have to take care of them as best as possible.
Do you believe AI can do the job?

 

Share your thoughts here

Do(es) AI replace architects?

Have you used AI in your line of work or entertainment? #AI

We all know the new buzzword these days is AI and how it is replacing many jobs. Every industry is already using AI or is in the process of implementing it.  

Architects and building designers are experiencing improvements in presentations and even design using AI technology.

contemporary interior design

contemporary interior design

We can see the improvements that AI brings across the board to different sectors, including 3D rendering, that are jaw-dropping. But to be honest, can an AI do a good job designing a workplace or living space to suit your needs?
It depends on who you ask. If you ask a developer who just wants to cut costs and make more profit from every bit and piece of the project without caring about the comfort of the tenants. Then, yes, AI can be an excellent tool for generating the most efficient sets of drawings to meet the local zoning and building codes in a fraction of the time and cost.
However, this comes with the enormous sacrifice of losing creativity and human touch.

Should we let our lives be run by Science?

North vancouver interior designer

North Vancouver interior designer

You see, AI is being created by right-sided brain people (scientists), and based on science, the world around us is created by matter (or quantum physics, which believes all existing things are from energy). Basically, our five senses (touch, seeing, hearing, taste, and smelling) allow us to experience whatever exists in three shapes: solid, gas, or liquid.
What science cannot describe and is lacking are the sensations we experience as humans. The laughter on cracking a joke, the experience of the first kiss, the joy of sipping your favourite drink while sitting on a balcony watching the kids playing, or the experience of touching the skin of loved ones can not be comprehended by AI or science.
If science and AI cannot understand these emotions and sensations, how you would allow them to provide a service to you to duplicate these feelings?

What defines a building? 

Designing a building is not just locating different rooms based on their functionalities and making a box to house people. (this might be a common practice in some countries or done by many developers who don’t care about society.)
But I want to ask my readers, are you looking for a shelter to house you or do you want to live in a home that can satisfy your soul, provide comfort, and fulfill your happiness?

multi-generational home

multi-generational home

A society in which the government and the developers just care about creating shelters without fulfilling human needs, learn the lesson the hard way by experiencing unhappy people.

Neglecting community building leads to family issues, crime, suicide, and abuse..

AI is an exceptional tool to be used by humans who can create a place to live, work, and thrive. to enjoy life and create memories, to grow old and have fun with other members of the community, and to contribute to society.

What do you think?

I would like you to share your thoughts and let me know what you think. Our homes and our workplaces mean so much more to us than a shelter and a place to perform a work activity. So we have to take care of them as best as possible.
Do you believe AI can do the job?

 

Share your thoughts here

Multiplex homes are coming to BC

BC government introducing legislation that overrides the municipal zoning regulations

There is a rush to build smaller homes in BC. I’m wondering how the municipalities will react.
So far, many municipalities in BC (with the exception of the city of Vancouver) have been reluctant to accept the idea of densification and having multiple homes on single-family lots.
But this all will change soon, as the government of BC is imposing a new act that requires all municipalities in BC to allow multiple units on a single-family lot, regardless of their zoning.

Smaller units on single-family lots mean home affordability!

Vancouver triplex home
Multiplex homes are coming to BC

Proposing a secondary suite on a single-family lot is nothing new, but now the government wants to build smaller homes that are shared with other owners to reduce the cost of home ownership.
The new act being imposed by the government of BC that requires all municipalities to allow multiple units in a single-family lot is indeed a significant change in the approach to densification. This can potentially address the issue of affordability and reduce the cost of home ownership, which is a commendable goal. However, it is important to ensure that this is done in a responsible and creative manner to avoid potential negative impacts on the community in the long run.
One suggestion is to highlight the benefits of smaller homes and shared ownership, such as increased affordability, reduced environmental footprint, and fostering of a sense of community through shared spaces and resources. Emphasize that smaller homes can provide an opportunity for families or individuals to enter the housing market at a more affordable price point, which can be especially beneficial in expensive markets like BC.

  • Makes homeownership more affordable for younger families and new immigrants
  • The existing lot footprint can home more families to live in a family-oriented neighbourhood
  • Create more rental units to combat the rental shortage
  • The use of existing lands is good for the environment and for the local economy
  • The forgivable loan offered by the BC government is a very good motivation for some homeowners to take action toward adding units to their homes, but it’s not enough!
West Vancouver coach home

It would also be beneficial to pioneer creative and attractive designs for multiplexes, rather than a “cookie-cutter” approach. This can help address concerns about the aesthetic impact of densification on neighbourhoods and promote innovative designs that enhance the overall appeal of the community.¬†
The city of Vancouver was proactive in that initiative and is moving forward to densification throughout the city which other municipalities have to follow suit. 

The city of Vancouver can share its experience in regard to the challenges has faced by creating smaller units.

This can provide a more comprehensive and informative analysis of the situation and potential hurdles that municipalities and developers may face in implementing the new act.

I had challenges with the city of Coquitlam and Burnaby when it comes to building a duplex on big lots. The city prefers to build a giant homes with high price tags with a secondary suite (in which two families can reside on it) rather than building multiple units owned by families who can afford the smaller price tag.
A 900 SF condo is selling for over $1 mil. in Coquitlam, but imagine if you have one share of a triplex in the same area, you can own it at the same price with a larger footprint and be able to share the yard with other owners.

It will be interesting to see how the municipalities respond to the new upcoming act.

In conclusion, the province is facing a significant number of new immigrants within the next 5 years and our housing shortage will cause a tremendous impact on the way our society will run. The sooner the municipalities act and create more affordable homes, the sooner we can resolve this issue. 

We are all working toward a better community. We can do it by opening the floor for dialogue and listening to all the ideas on the table.

 

Contact us if you need to know more about how can you make a difference and make your home energy effiectint.

Burnaby Laneway homes coming fall 2023!

Burnaby Laneway Homes coming in effect soon!

After many years of waiting, the city of Burnaby has decided to accept the fact that the city needs more housing options to combat the rental shortage. After going through the process, the city held a couple of open houses on March 28 and 29th and is expecting to present the program to the council’s approval in the fall of 2023.

Burnaby Laneway home
A sample of Laneway home in the city of Vancouver

Eligible Properties:

First and foremost, the lot has to have vehicular access either from a lane or from a side street. Some corner lots will require approval from the engineering department.
The Laneway home will be constructed at the rear of the lot.

The lot zoning should be on a single family zoning such as R1, R2, R3, R4, R5, R6, R8, R10, R11, R12, RM1, RM2, RM3, and RM6.
Please consult with us to see if your lot is eligible for building a laneway home by clicking here.

What size can we build on a lot?

The maximum allowed floor area of a laneway home is 20% of the lot size up to a maximum of 1,507 SF. 
For example, if your lot size is 7,000 SF your laneway house can not be more than 1,400 SF.
Other considerations such as site coverage and impervious area coverage will affect the size of the home as well.

  • The Laneway home can not be more than 2 storeys
  • The maximum height can not be more than 24.93 ft for a sloped roof
  • The maximum height can not be more than 21.98 ft for a flat roof
  • Passive house has some exemptions
  • Basement and sellers are allowed in laneway homes¬†
Burnaby laneway home
  • Only one parking stall will be sufficient for the house and laneway home
  • If you decided to build a garage and a laneway home, the area of the garage will be calculated to the total floor area allowed
  • If your existing house has a secondary suite, you are still eligible to build a laneway home

There are other restrictions such as sideyard and rear setback, outdoor space, distance from the main house, access, servicing and the construction method that all can be taken care of by our team as soon as our client has decided to move forward with the project.

There are many benefits of investing in a laneway home construction and we assure our clients we build the most cost-effective one with the best standard in the market.
Our business module is on win-win philosophy and we take pride in having many happy clients because of our work ethic. See what our past clients say about our services by clicking here.

Burnaby home builder
The laneway homes are a good way to generate income!

The city of Burnaby is aiming to accept building permit applications by September 2023. Considering the number of homeowners who would like to apply for the permit, there will be a huge number of applicants’ anticipation.¬†
The question is how the city can handle the number of applications.
We experienced similar situations in other municipalities and the backlog of applications is taking years to be taken care of.
If an applicant wants to wait until September 2023 to start their process, it will take about two months to have the initial documents ready to submit to the city.

By the time the documents are ready, there will be a huge number of applicants who applied for the permit already.

The best approach is to hire the company of your choice and have them have all the documents ready and as soon as the permit application is open to submit, your application will be one of the first ones.
Fill out the form below and let us help you to build your Laneway home sooner!

We are all working toward a better community. We can do it by opening the floor for dialogue and listening to all the ideas on the table.

Contact us if you need to know more about how can you make a difference and make your home energy efficient.