Project Essentials

  • LocationVancouver, BC
  • ClientBC Housing
  • ArchitectNSDA Architects
  • Size118,285 ft² (10,989 m²)
  • BudgetC$28 million
  • Sustainable FeaturesCertified LEED Gold

With affordable housing at a critical state in Vancouver – particularly for low-income residents of the Downtown Eastside –  the City responded with a plan to develop 14 sites to address homelessness. This project at 220 Princess Street, the site of the former Drake Hotel, will help vulnerable residents (particularly women and children) transition from life on the streets into safe, independent housing with transformative support services.

Structurally, it’s an example of how energy-efficient high-rise construction and an attention to quality design, materials and ample social spaces can foster health, well-being and hope. The design team prioritized daylighting with a 30% window-to-wall ratio, as well as a high-performance envelope with thermal breaks, radiant in-slab heading and heat recovery ventilation in each suite. A rooftop garden and play areas promote community.

Fast + Epp developed a cast-in-place concrete building solution over 10 storeys, with flat plates and ductile shear walls, as well as an underground parkade. Programming-wise, the building is mixed use: subsidized rental housing (105 studio and 41 family units) and support services, administrative offices, and a retail component.


It was named the Budzey Building in honour of Lorna Budzey, a vibrant member of the community who promoted inclusion and understanding before her death in 2000.