3381 Radcliffe Avenue
The owner of the subject property is proposing to construct a Passive House certified, two-storey house with basement and detached two-car garage. Passive House is a green building standard that requires:
- a low amount of energy required for heating (max 15kWh / m2),
- an airtight building, and
- a low total energy requirement of the building (max 120 kWh / m2).
In order to attain Passive House certification, the walls of the house must be 16.8 cm (6.63 in) thicker than required under the BC Building Code. In calculating floor area for a house, the Zoning Bylaw measures to the external surface of a wall, so by increasing the thickness of the walls, the owner has their internal, usable floor area reduced.
As a result, the owner is seeking a variance to the maximum floor area for the property, to exclude the additional wall thickness required to meet the Passive House standard.
The owner also wishes to allow for future installation of solar (photovoltaic) panels on the roof of the house, which exceeds the maximum permitted height.
Due to the slope of the site, the owner is also proposing to locate a detached two-car garage within the front yard to Radcliffe Avenue, in a similar location to the existing garage. The location of the garage requires a front yard variance, but also variances to the minimum combined side yard and retaining wall height (for an entry down into the rear of the garage from the proposed house).
Council approved the application at their May 1, 2017, Council meeting.