Location: Smithers, B.C.
Completed: February 2019
Size: 14,580 sq. ft.
Scope: Design, Bid, Build, Install, Site Development
“Housing needs to be affordable to build in order to be affordable to provide.”
Affordable housing is an urgent need for many communities. As cities and provinces struggle to keep up with demand, they seek fast and cost-efficient solutions so the most vulnerable can be given a safe space to live.
Enter modular construction.
Twenty-four units in 29 weeks: it was a challenge Nomodic faced head-on when BC Housing contracted them to build a new supportive housing project, Goodacre Place, in the town of Smithers, B.C. The facility was designed to provide a long-term housing solution to those experiencing homelessness or who were at risk of becoming homeless. As soon as Nomodic broke ground in August of 2018, the clock was ticking. Goodacre Place was scheduled to open its doors just six months later, in February 2019.
Nomodic addressed an extensive list of challenges to make this happen:
A three-storey, 14,580 square foot structure can easily cause community disruption, but through careful strategic planning, Nomodic was able to keep construction traffic and noise to a minimum. This included rerouting powerlines in coordination with BC Hydro without any major disturbances.
The land received from the city required extensive mitigation, as the site was contaminated with several chemicals found at various depths. Nomodic successfully managed around these impacts, while coordinating the execution of the site earthworks, foundation, and the utilities simultaneously.
The water table on the site was high and constantly filling up with groundwater, which posed erosion problems during excavation. Nomodic’s contractor used deep water trenching and a specialized pumping system to draw water away from the site area. This measure also reduced risks of sinkholes onsite and in the surrounding area.
Access To Labour
Nomodic’s goal is to hire local labour as much as possible, but when shortages arise, we draw upon our trusted network of fabricators. Offsite fabrication lowered labour costs, eliminated accommodation expenses, and optimized construction performance in a controlled environment. During the construction phase, our crews utilized accommodations provided by local citizens and businesses to cut costs, and passed the savings on to the client.
Multiple Stakeholder Needs
Nomodic was contracted by BC Housing but also had to address the needs of municipal authorities and the facility end user. That meant balancing the desire for amenities and expanded features with final budget figures.
To align with the Smithers community’s alpine theme, the project required a peaked roof, which was built onsite and craned into place. Because the units were constructed offsite with full airtightness, there was no risk of damages from the elements during this process.
STEP Code Requirements – Nomodic addressed and exceeded BC Housing’s rigid energy efficiency requirements on this project, including increased airtightness on all 24 units. The environmental benefits of the Nomodic Advantage were prevalent throughout the process. For more information about Step Code regulations, read our green initiatives blog.
“If you have a safe place to live, you’re then able to move forward.”
Affordable housing projects like Goodacre Place allow people in need to start rebuilding their lives. The residents now have a warm, comfortable place to sleep and a greater connection to social services. Most importantly, they have a place to call home.
Through innovation and efficiency, Nomodic was able to deliver Goodacre Place on schedule, with only a 0.5% cost escalation. Nomodic provides a better way to build affordable housing, with minimal impact on the community and environment, but with a major impact on individuals looking to enhance their quality of life.