North Vancouver’s BCollective Homes is building homes in two days and giving away the recipe

The certified B Corp wants to help solve the Lower Mainland's housing crisis.

The certified B Corp wants to help solve the Lower Mainland’s housing crisis

There’s no one solution to the Lower Mainland’s housing crisis. Any “solving” of a problem of that complexity takes multiple levels of decision-makers across a broad spectrum of policymaking.

But can building a sustainable home in two days help speed up the construction process and, eventually, house more people in an efficient way? BCollective Homes co-founder and president Chris Hill thinks so. The North Vancouver-based company recently built a home offsite in two days and installed it on a lot in the 3000 block of East 22nd Street in Vancouver. It was done by four construction professionals using the company’s BOSS (Building Offsite Sustainable Systems) project.

BOSS is a construction solution that utilizes offsite manufacturing to enable faster, cost-effective, and sustainable building practices, reducing waste and limiting environmental impact. The BOSS system is also highly customizable. Its founders say that the system can reduce energy and water consumption by up to 50 percent, and greenhouse gas emissions by up to 40 percent. 

The most innovative thing about the project, at least according to Hill, is that the company isn’t trying to hoard the IP. In fact, it’s doing the exact opposite and trying to spread the message. “We’re trying to encourage collaboration across industry with developers and builders,” says Hill. “We’re trying to show other people how it was done and generate interest.” 

Hill is also starting to have some conversations with some of the important stakeholders to spread the word about what BCollective can do for the industry and for the province. “At first, I wasn’t talking to too many people about it,” says Hill. “Now we’ve built the house and have had around 200 people come through it. Developers are starting to pay attention. Time is money, and we’re shortening build cycles.”

Next on Hill’s to-do list is getting his company of 15 employees firmly on the government’s radar. “As the demand for this type of construction increases—and we’re seeing it increase rapidly—how do we scale?” he asks. “We’re having good conversations and we’ve utilized the right producers. What we’ve done is available here, it’s sourced locally. This is for Metro Vancouver’s missing middle—multiplex, four units of single family, that’s where this product is designed to go and excel and succeed.”