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Averra saves 100-year old Vancouver house from demolition

Averra Developments’ Dunbar Project was a residential home build that had an interesting start.

As you’ve likely seen, new homes are regularly being built to satisfy demand in the market.  Older homes are regularly being demolished to make way for new homes with improved design, function and with energy efficiency in mind.

Our Dunbar project had a beautiful cira-1915 character home on it.  It’s interior was all first-cut fir, with wide planks with no knots.  The house was in great shape, considering its age. It was deemed to have significant heritage merit by the City of Vancouver (COV) and was on the Heritage “B” Registry.

During extensive pre-construction meetings with Development and Heritage Planners of the COV it was confirmed that the house could be demolished as plans satisfied outright use under the applicable City of Vancouver Zoning Bylaw (in this case RS-5).

Our team has a passion and experience retaining old homes whenever possible, as we did with our La Tessa project, thus the team wanted to explore options to retain the beautiful home.

Unfortunately, research deemed it cost prohibitive to transform the existing home as we did with La Tessa.

Considerations included:

  • raise the house enough to build a new foundation
  • full height basement
  • new roof and extended dormers for increased living space upstairs
  • addition on the rear of the house for more space
  • additional support to allow for structurally opening up the floor plan

During our meetings, heritage planners shared that they understood our constraints.  They expressed that they appreciated our proactive approach including them in our development process.

At this time, our team simultaneously began exploring the following two options so that we could obtain our building permit.

Option #1 – Move the House

We contacted Nickel Brothers.

They have been excellent partners moving or raising houses with past Averra projects.  This option was a huge undertaking and the chances of everything working out perfectly were not great.  Yet, we were passionate about this option as it would be very fulfilling if feasible.

Our arrangement with Nickel Brothers had them responsible for everything including insurance and risk for the house raise and move. They receive all proceeds from the sale of the house and in exchange we have a house removed from our site at no cost to us.

See more for information the actual move and where this beautiful home went.

Option#2 – Recycle the House

A demolition permit was required through the COV advanced deconstruction permits. Builders must follow a controlled process of recycling 75%+ of materials from the original house. Application was granted and was the second ever advanced deconstruction permit in Vancouver.

Fortunately, we didn’t have to use the demolition permit and are excited to go with our first option and be a part of the house move on July 26, 2012.

 

 

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