Rhoda Kaellis Residence


1105 Royal Ave.

New Westminster, BC


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Certifications & Awards
  • LEED Canada for New Construction and Major Renovations 1 Gold
Project Team
  • Owner: BC Housing
  • Developer: BC Housing
  • Tenant: Lookout Emergency Aid Society
  • Architect: Boni Maddison Architects
  • LEED Consultant: Recollective Consulting
  • Structural Engineer: Lang Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineer: Stantec Consulting
  • Electrical Engineer: Jarvis Engineering Consultants
  • Civil Engineer: CitiWest Consulting
  • Energy Engineer: Hemmera Energy
  • Landscape Architect: Eckford & Associates
  • Contractor: E3 Eco Group Inc
  • Commissioning Authority: Western Mechanical
  • Building Science Professional: CSA Building Sciences Western
  • Housing Consultant: Terra Housing Consultants
  • Environmental Consultant: David Kelly Environmental Consulting
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Interview with Christine Williams - Property Manager


The Rhoda Kaellis is a 4-storey, 1,591 m2 multi-unit residential building, built as part of BC Housing’s Homelessness initiative. The 24 units, operated and managed by the Lookout Society.

Sustainable Sites

The Rhoda Kaellis Residence is located in close proximity to the New Westminster Skytrain Station and adjacent to the commercial shops and services node to the West of the Skytrain Station. Bike storage, changing facilities and 20% less parking (under the building footprint) have also been incorporated into the design.

During construction heavy end volatile petroleum hydrocarbons and metals contamination was found in soils on the northern area of the site, originating from an off-site source under the lane to the north of the property. The overburden was removed and the impacted soil taken to a remediation facility.  An impermeable clay barrier was placed around the perimeter of the property to prevent further contamination. A soil vapour extraction system was installed below the building as a precautionary measure against any soil vapour that might occur.

Water Efficiency

The landscaping consists of native/adaptive plant species that are adapted to summer drought, and require minimal irrigation. Any irrigation required is to be provided by rainwater collected in barrels, thus eliminating any potable water being used for landscaping. The community garden plots on the roof make up less than 50% of the planting, and do not have an installed permanent irrigation system. Residents will hand water as needed.

The plumbing fixtures reduce water use through dual flush 3/4.8 L toilets, and 1.5 gpm showers, 1.8 gpm kitchen sink, 0.5 gpm lavatory faucets. Total water savings of the building as compared to a baseline case, are 48.42%.

Energy & Atmosphere

The main floor (amenity area) is heated and cooled with hybrid heat pumps, and heating for the units is provided by radiant floors. Ventilation for the building is provided by a central MAU with hydronic heating and cooling coils. A central air-source heat pump (with a seasonal COP of 3.4) provides the hot/chilled water for the building.

The design results in a regulated energy cost savings of 48% and is eligible for 6 LEED EAc1 points. The majority of the savings for this building is due to the ASHP in the proposed building, compared to the electric boiler in the reference.

Indoor Environmental Quality

Indoor Air Quality Management Procedures were implemented during construction, and low-emitting adhesives, sealants, paints and carpet was used to provide healthy indoor air quality for occupants. All composite wood products in living spaces do not contain Urea-Formaldehyde – a known carcinogen.

The building was designed around an interior courtyard to allow for operable windows, and daylight and views to penetrate the interior suites of the building.

Innovation in Design

An onsite “Green Building Brain” audio tour educates residents, visitors, and the public about the sustainable features of the building. (The audio is available in the righthand sidebar of this page.)

There is a green housekeeping system in place, which includes giving all new residential tenants a six-month supply of green cleaning products for their suites. Thereafter tenants are able to purchase the supplies at a discounted cost.

Exemplary performance is targeted for SSc7.1, placing all parking under the building footprint, and WEc3, a >40% water use reduction.