Project Essentials

  • LocationVancouver, BC
  • ClientBC Housing
  • ArchitectNSDA Architects
  • Size48,000 ft² (4,459 m²)
  • BudgetC$12 million
  • Sustainable FeaturesCertified LEED Gold

In a move to combat growing homelessness and an inadequate supply of single room occupancy hotels, the City of Vancouver bought 14 properties to develop as social and supportive housing for low-income and vulnerable residents. This nine-storey project at 1601 West 7th Avenue (now named Sanford Apartments) comprises 62 single-occupancy units, with as many as half to be occupied by tenants living with mental illness. Programming also includes integrated support services for individuals who are at risk of homelessness.

This project gave the team an opportunity to design an environmentally-responsible and socially-relevant space with ample daylighting. Fast + Epp’s structural solution featured cast-in-place concrete flat plates with a moderate ductile shear wall system.

During the initial stages of work, the design team procured trade pricing, reviewed drawings for cost savings and developed construction schedules and the budget before breaking ground. This extensive and meticulous planning played a major role in the project’s success; it was completed both on time and within budget.

This building promotes a healthy community, with appropriate housing for all – regardless of social status. It provides safe and affordable housing for those needing support during their transition to a life of stability and well-being.