City to retain Passive House for four more years

The exterior of the passive house.

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The City of Fort St. John will be retaining the Passive House for at least another 4 years.

It was passed by Mayor Lori Ackerman and Council that the Passive House be kept for a term of up to 4 years and have that deal end on December 31st, 2020.

A lease agreement will be drafted with the Community Development Institute. This would see the house continue to offer tours, demonstrations and promotions. The City says these will continue on a regular and scheduled basis.

It was also passed that Council direct City staff to also draft a zoning amendment bylaw for Temporary Use Permits. These permits would allow Council to give a permit the Passive House to become a Community Development Institute Office.

The house will also be furnished as a demonstration home, office space and will provide accommodation for people from the CDI. The cost of these improvements will be around $20,000 with that money being allocated to the C5 Economic Development Strategy Account. The space will serve as a meeting space as well as office space.

Currently, the home has been running as a “living lab” since November of 2014. The City will take possession of the house on November 1st, 2017.

The City listed the following as advantages and disadvantages when it comes to keeping the Passive House. The following are advantages:

  • The house is occupied and “alive”.
  • The house is delivering value to our ratepayers.
  • The cost of operation of CDI remains as efficient as possible.
  • Any maintenance or operational issues in the house are noted and addressed in a prompt manner.

There is only 1 disadvantage according to the City. The disadvantage is:

  • The house will remain as a City of Fort St. John facility for a period of 4 additional years with associated operational and maintenance costs.

Annual operating costs for the house are around $15,400.00. That money provides professional cleaning
services, grounds maintenance and snow removal.