VANCOUVER, British Columbia — The first multifamily building in Vancouver aiming at meeting the stringent passive house energy standard is slated to commence construction. Designed by Marken Design + Consulting, the duplex building will use up to 90 percent less energy for heating and cooling and save up to 65 percent on operational costs compared to a standard home.

The duplex will utilize a 4 kW solar photovoltaic system to produce sufficient electricity to handle most of the building’s annual energy consumption. Other energy-saving sustainable building features include solar hot water, high-efficiency heat recovery ventilation, and triple pane windows.

“We estimate the utility bills to come in below $60 a month per unit,” said Alexander Maurer, principal at Marken Design + Consulting and a leading expert in passive house design and planning. “The construction costs will be similar to a Vancouver quality constructed custom home.”

The passive house building energy standard originated in Germany in the late 1980s and is being implemented in buildings around the world. It is estimated that there are over 50,000 passive house buildings worldwide. Currently, there are only about two dozen buildings in Canada achieving this level of energy efficiency with about a dozen planned in Vancouver this year.

Marken Design + Consulting is a multidisciplinary building design and consulting firm dedicated to high performance building design and construction standards including passive house, net zero, and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). For more information, visit

Publication date: 6/8/2015

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