Sanford Apartments

2 2012 06 26 SE Corner(Entry)

Project Team:

Sustainability Consultant: Blue Camas

Operators: KSHS – Katherine Sanford Housing Society
MPA – Motivation Power and Achievement Society
Developers: City of Vancouver
BC Housing – Province of British Columbia
Architect: Neale Staniszkis Doll Adams Architects
Mechanical Engineer: MMM Group
Electrical Engineer: MMM Group
Structural Engineer: Fast + Epp Structural Engineers
Landscape Architect: Perry and Associates
Geotechnical Eng.: Horizon Engineering
Building Envelope: exp Services
Commissioning Authority: Inland Technical Services Ltd.
M&V Planner: Stantec
General Contractor: Ledcor Construction Limited
LEED® Consulting: Blue Camas / Recollective

General description:

Sanford Apartments is a Provincial Homelessness Initiative project located at the corner of West 7th Avenue and Fir Street in Vancouver British Columbia.

Constructed in partnership between the non-profit Operators, KSHS and MPA, and the City of Vancouver and BC Housing, Sanford will provide 62 residential suites and amenity areas, as well as social services facilities supporting both residents and visiting clients. This PHI project will assist people who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness due to their physical and/or mental health, behavior, substance dependencies, and/or forensic history.

The development is a 4,270 square metre, nine storey building located on the southern edge of downtown Vancouver. Two underground levels include parking and services. The ground floor has a commercial kitchen as well as dining, lounge, laundry and outdoor deck. Open to the main floor below, the second floor includes support services, office and administration spaces. The third floor includes suites as well as amenity spaces for residents and the fourth to ninth floors consist of residential suites.

The building is constructed of durable materials incorporating brick, cementitious fibre panels and preformed metal siding panels, metal frame windows and glass. To reduce energy loss the concrete and steel stud structure is super insulated including thermal insulating spacers.

In addition to a commitment to social sustainability, the project is dedicated to achieving a significant level of environmental sustainability. Designed to achieve a LEED Gold Standard, Sanford is also meets BC Housing criteria requiring that no more than 10% of end use energy be provided by fossil fuel.

Construction began in January 2011, and the project received Occupancy in July 2012.Sanford Apartments Int 2012 06 26 MainFlr

LEED Guides referenced:
LEED Canada-NC 1.0
LEED Canada-NC 1.0 Multi-Unit Residential Buildings
LEED Canada 2009

Credit Interpretation Requests:
CIR 038 – Weather-stripping and ETS Testing
CIR 292 – Clarification of EQp2 and Alternate Compliance for Blower Door Testing in MURBs
CIR 523 – MURB vs. NC Compliance


High Performance building features:


Sanford Apartments use 62% less energy than an equivalent Model National Energy Code baseline building.

Energy efficiency / energy producing measures implemented at Sanford include:
– vertical geothermal loop
– central heat recovery ventilation unit for residential suites
– radiant in-floor heating for residential suites
– domestic hot water (DHW) preheating by water to water heat pump
– low flow DHW fixtures
– variable speed pumps
– occupancy sensors in common area lighting fixtures
– water to air heat pumps for amenity areas

Metering has been installed and a comprehensive measurement and verification process established to monitor building systems for more than a year after occupancy. Systems actual performance will be measured and compared to energy modeled predictions and operational performance will be optimized.

Water Efficiency

Highly efficient toilets, faucets and showerheads were installed and water use has been reduced to 43% below standard fixtures.


Indoor Environment

Ventilation: Central Heat Recovery Ventilation unit provides high quality air filtration using MERV 13 filters, as well as providing a high level of air changes (meets BC Housing standard of 1.0 air change per hour for a smoking permitted building).

Indoor Air Quality: Volatile Organic Compounds and other sources of indoor pollution are minimized by use of low emitting paints, adhesives and sealants, carpet, doors, cabinetry and millwork.

Natural lighting: Over 93% of regularly occupied building spaces receive at least 25 foot candles of natural daylight, and over 94% have direct line of site to an exterior window.

Tobacco Smoke Control: Smoking is permitted within suites, but control of tobacco smoke was achieved through high performance gasket and sealant enclosure of individual suites, confirmed by “blower door testing” of individual suite air-tightness, which prevents the spread of tobacco smoke, and also improves energy efficiency, sound proofing, and control of odour and vermin.

Building Envelope

The high performance building envelope is designed for durability and ease of maintenance. A high standard of insulation, and walls, doors, and windows are designed to minimize air leakage and thermal bridging.

Building Site

The building is located with walkable access to public transit as well as shopping and community resources. Parking facilities are minimized and located entirely underground. Bicycle parking and shower facilities, as well as 2 designated parking stalls for Electric Vehicle charging provided.


Construction materials selected contain over 20% recycled content. Over 96% of construction waste materials were diverted from landfill.