Tuesday, February 27, 2024

‘Standardized designs’ being developed by BC to help more homes be built faster


In an effort to bypass some red tape and costs associated with building homes in BC, the Province is developing new standardized designs that will soon be readily available to builders. 

This endeavour has been dubbed the Standardized Housing Design Project (SHDP).

These designs are specifically for small-scale, multi-unit homes, such as townhomes, triplexes and laneway homes. 

By allowing people to use these plans for their projects, population density will increase but in areas like Victoria where we are island-bound and have finite space to work with, this may be one of few solutions that is functional. 

“In order to address our housing crisis, we must use innovative solutions to enable housing to be built faster,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. 

“Having standardized building designs available can help streamline the permitting process. We will work to add additional designs in the coming years to ensure our communities remain vibrant and have a variety of housing options.”

Next steps in this initiative will be for the Province to engage a consultant team for expert advice and feedback on the development of these designs.

If the SHDP is passed and made into legislation, as many as three to four units will be allowed on land currently zoned for single-family dwellings and duplexes whereas up to six units could move into a lot near a bus stop.

Up to 10 different designs will be prepared by the end of the project, all of which will be created with various lot sizes and configurations in mind. 

(Province of BC/Flickr)

Consultants applications opened up on November 15th and will close on December 13th. This role would include engaging with industry professionals and local governments to navigate what the standardized houses designs need to consider. 

The goal is to have consulting done by spring of next year with a designer hired and ready to begin working on drawings. 

The Province wants the SHDP to have the designs ready for builders and municipalities by next summer. 

Curtis Blandy

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