The City of Vancouver has received an application to rezone 349 West Georgia Street (former Post Office site) from Downtown (DD) District to Comprehensive Development (CD-1) District to allow for redevelopment retaining the existing Post Office building and adding two residential towers and one office tower above.

The proposal for 349 West Georgia includes:
· Retention of heritage building and its conversion into a seven-storey podium containing retail along all street frontages, housing, office, and parking
· Adding three towers above podium, including 17 storeys of office, and 18 and 20 storeys of residential
· 799 residential units (372 market condominium units and 427 market rental units)
· An overall floor space ratio of 12.9 FSR
· Six levels of parking, including 1,168 bicycle spaces
· A 49-space childcare facility


The Post on Georgia is a re-envisioning of an iconic, industrial building in downtown Vancouver. The project will be largest heritage revitalization in Vancouver’s history. The building will be repurposed into a multi-use destination incorporating a vibrant mix of retail, residential, office space, service, and amenity facilities.

The proposed project will be sustainably developed, incorporating environmental strategies at both the building and the neighbourhood scale with an overall goal of achieving Carbon Neutral operations. Post on Georgia is targeting to become Vancouver’s largest carbon neutral new development. The entire development will be targeting Gold certification with the LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system. The office and retail portions will target Platinum certification with the LEED for Core and Shell rating system providing future tenants with world-class, energy-efficient, leasable space. The rental housing is considering Passive House standards. The entire site is subject to City of Vancouver’s Large Site Rezoning Policy, and will incorporate necessary
strategies to meet and exceed the requirements.

The LEED ND sustainable neighbourhood strategy is focused on providing exceptional site design, quality green space and outstanding building energy and water performance. The site design starts with creating vibrant, walkable streets within a compact and mixed-use neighbourhood. This objective will be addressed by paying special attention to the pedestrian experience on-site, through ground-level engagement, indoor-outdoor visual connection and universal accessibility to the site. A series of rooftop
gardens and green roofs will be planted solely with native vegetation, reducing heat island effect and offering occupant amenity space. Building energy and water performance will be optimized across the site, achieving an average of 22.5% energy “cost-savings” improvement over ASHRAE 90.1-2010 and an overall average of 40% water use reduction.

In order to further support the development’s commitment to ongoing energy and GHG savings, the commercial spaces will implement a performance-based commissioning program for the life of the buildings that is expected to improve energy efficiency by 23% (based on energy cost savings). Other elements unique to the commercial space include the use of Life Cycle Impact assessments for both materials and systems selections, low VOC materials selection, and design that favours natural daylighting.

Bentall Kennedy is focused on not only environmental stewardship but also long-term energy savings and housing affordability. As a result, the market rental portion of the project is undergoing an assessment of whether it can economically be developed using the Passive House building design program. Under the Passive House design standard the rental portion of the project will target an annual thermal load of 15 kWh/m2 achieved mostly through the application of a well-insulated, air tight, and thermally broken building envelope. By minimizing the energy loads as much as possible, the applicant can consider affordably using electricity for all heating and cooling requirements. Separate sustainability measures may need to be explored for the loft style units because they are located within the existing heritage podium which may not be able suitable for the implementation of passive house standards.

Finally, in recognition of this project’s profile and importance within the Vancouver context, the proponents are seeking to make the entire project “Carbon Neutral” in its operations. Numerous strategies will support this objective. Energy savings measures include waste heat and energy sharing combined with a rational envelope that conserves energy. To “offset” any remaining emissions from building operations, there is a proposal to develop a program to implement building energy retrofit projects within Bentall Kennedy’s own portfolio, where the annual savings will equal the emissions from operation of the Post Office buildings. Taken in combination, this will allow the development to become Vancouver’s largest carbon neutral new development and the first privately developed project.

The project site is located in a dense downtown urban core, with optimum connectivity to pedestrian, bicycle and public transit options. Alternative transportation strategies will be utilized at the Post on Georgia such as:
· Close proximity to various transit corridors – SkyTrain, bus, and downtown bike routes
· Car sharing systems with preferential parking and recharge stations for electric cars
· Secured bicycle parking and “end of trip facilities” for building occupants.

There will be a permeable approach to hard landscape features, ensuring lower maximum discharge levels and to purified water runoff. Green planters will be utilized over the majority of the roofscape at the podium and tower roof levels. A cistern (rainwater collection tank) will be considered to capture rainfall and discharge it to the city main storm system as per LEED guidelines, and also to store water for reuse within the irrigation system of the project

The roof gardens at the podium and roof levels of the Post will be a lush green retreat designed for tenant use and enjoyment. They are also designed to be visual and environmental amenities to the surrounding neighbourhood. The planted zones have a positive environmental effect due to their soft, cool, absorptive nature. Plants and soil slow, absorb, and filter rainwater – reducing both the velocity and quantity of runoff that enters the piped drain system. The planted areas aid in the project’s environmental agenda through evapotranspiration and shading, and also replace more heat absorptive pavers that add to the urban heat island. Irrigation throughout the project is minimized by the use of native, adapted and drought tolerant plantings, as well as the use of drip irrigation wherever possible, water sensors, and PRS for spray heads (Built in pressure regulating stem) which saves water by maintaining optimum water pressure and cancelling misting from excessively high water pressure. Storm water may be collected in a cistern for irrigation reuse, thus minimizing the use of potable water for plant irrigation.

Design of a high performance building envelope can result in a reduction in the heating and cooling loads of a building, contributing the energy savings credits as part of meeting LEED targets. A high performance envelope like the one being investigated for the Post on Georgia can work in conjunction with the mechanical systems to provide significant comfort improvements.

The main south facing component of the project that would be subject to the most solar heat gain is the office building along W Georgia St. The office will utilize triple glazing on the entire building- in addition to a strategy for solar heat gain mitigation on the south façade- to minimize the impact of solar heat gain on the inhabitants. Consideration is being given to a double skin façade system or energy-efficient dynamic (electrochromic) glass on the W Georgia St office façade. Electrochromic glass can change its tint from clear to dark on demand, giving occupants and owners an unprecedented control over the amount of light and heat that enters a building. Additionally, because they also control glare, windows that use electrochromic glass do not need blinds, shades or window treatments, thus providing unobstructed views to the occupants. In a double skin façade system the building envelope is able to dynamically respond to ambient conditions, incorporating a range of integrated insulation, shading and ventilation devices. The air space between the layers of glass acts as insulation against temperature changes, wind and sound.

As part of the integrated design process the following technologies are being integrated into the project:
· High Performance Building Envelope
· Rainwater harvesting
· Water efficient Landscaping
· Low consumption plumbing fixtures
· Exhaust air heat recovery
· Heat recovery and energy sharing between interior and exterior zones
· High efficiency mechanical equipment
· Reduced internal lighting loads below ASHRAE 90.1 2010 levels.

The heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems will be designed to provide comfort and indoor air quality for the building occupants. High performance energy efficient systems will be designed for the project that are fully hydronic and will be compatible with City of Vancouver’s DES connectivity guidelines if they should be enforced in future.

In addition to a high efficiency envelope, the building will further reduce energy consumption through the following HVAC measures currently under investigation. The retail is proposed to be served by a four pipe fan coil system, the office component a closed loop hydronic system to provide radiant heating and cooling, and the residential is proposed to utilize a four pipe fan coil unit for heating and cooling. A heat recovery ventilation system will capture the heat energy from the exhaust air to pre-heat the outdoor air when the outside air requires heat.

Due to the diverse uses within the project there is a great opportunity for energy sharing utilizing a heat recovery chiller and heat pumps to recover heat energy from the building from rooms such as the electrical rooms, elevator machine rooms and interior commercial spaces that are constantly generating heat. Each system will be reviewed for benefits and impacts to achieve project energy targets and required indoor air quality. Though the exact systems of the building are yet to be determined, all considerations for both the envelope, mechanical, and electrical systems will be selected so as to minimize energy use and, by extension, carbon emissions.

Sustainable lighting strategies will be employed within the building so that a minimum level of energy case for the building will be 15% to 20% less than ASHRAE 90.1 including:
· LED fixtures
· LED signs

A high level of lighting controls will be applied to the building, including:
· Daylight sensors in common areas
· Occupancy sensors in low occupancy areas
· Individual control of specific lighting elements

To improve efficiency and the need for additional elevators, a destination dispatch system will be applied to the office component. A destination dispatch system is an optimization technique used for multi-elevator installations, which groups passengers for the same destinations into the same elevators, thereby reducing waiting and travel times. In a traditional approach, all passengers wishing to ascend or descend enter the same lift and then request their destination. Ultimately, destination dispatch improves efficiency which reduces elevator travel and the energy required for such travel.

The plumbing system will include low flow fixtures throughout to reduce water consumption. A rain water harvesting system will supply the resources to flush toilets and urinals with future consideration and requirements to accommodate a possible on-site irrigation system. Flow sensors will also be utilized on common area faucets to ensure efficient use of water.

The project will incorporate many passive and active sustainability measures. The adaptive re-use of the full city block building is fundamentally sustainable in itself.

One of the key sustainability features comes from the reuse of the existing Post Office building, contributing significant savings in embodied energy. The energy that is saved is primarily embodied in the existing concrete and steel, additionally avoiding the energy costs and landfill implications of demolition. Approximately 24,800 Tonnes of Carbon will be saved by not demolishing and rebuilding the podium structure. Approximately 22,800 Tonnes of Carbon is saved from the existing concrete which is equivalent to taking 17,600 cars off the road for a year. Approximately 2,050 Tonnes of Carbon is saved from the existing steel which is roughly equivalent to carbon sequestered by 192,000 tree seedlings grown for 10 years.

Approximately 1,518,142.2ft3 (42 ,9 8 9m3) of waste is saved from not demolishing the Post Office, eliminating an estimated 7,027 round trips to the landfill. Overall the energy savings are generally equal to the amount needed to power all the proposed rental units in this project for 10 years.

The nature of the floor plan for this project in the commercial and office uses aims for highly adaptable and reusable floor plates. The office plate will be incorporate a rationalized structural elements for a clear span, which increases the flexibility and adaptability of the floor plates, and increases the probability of building adaptability and reuse in the future.

Low emitting materials will be mandated on this project, including:
· Low VOC paints, adhesives and sealants
· Low VOC carpets and composite wood
· When in operation, the building will untilize green cleaning and service products.

Bentall Kennedy is one of Canada’s largest real estate advisory and services organizations and is a recognized leader of Responsible Property Investment (RPI) practices. RPI incorporates environmental, social and governance considerations in a comprehensive approach to real estate investment management. To help improve building performance from both sustainable and economic perspectives, Bentall Kennedy actively participates in environmental, third-party building certification programs. Bentall Kennedy is the first major national real estate firm to formally support the BOMA BEST (formerly Go Green) certification initiative and pride themselves on having the largest number of BOMA BEST certified buildings of all private sector owners / managers in Canada.

Bentall Kennedy advocates LEED standards for new development and redevelopment projects and is actively involved in the development of the LEED Canada for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance (LEED Canada EB: O&M) certification program.

Some of Bentall Kennedy’s key property initiatives include:
· Green Specifications for cleaning, landscaping and snow removal
· A formal Responsible Contracting Policy
· Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) program
· Eco Tracker, Bentall Kennedy’s online utility, waste and GHG emissions tracking tool.

Bentall Kennedy’s dedication to RPI extends beyond property portfolios to our commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability (CSRS). Their “Caught Green Handed” campaign encourages employees to reduce their environmental footprint through a series of measures, including energy management, paper reduction, employee commute and corporate travel.

To be ranked among the top firms worldwide by the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) for four years in a row is more than an honour; it is a testament to the drive and inspiration of our people and of the people we work with as clients, tenants, and partners.

Our shared vision recognizes sustainability as a communal responsibility. As one of the core drivers of excellence in our real estate management practice, this vision helps us manage risks related to building obsolescence while reducing utility consumption and strengthening relationships with our tenants.

In addition the GRESB award, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized Bental Kennedy with a 2016 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award for its continued leadership in protecting our environment through superior energy
efficiency achievements

Building Name:  349 West Georgia
Address:  349 West Georgia Street, Vancouver BC
Developer:  Bentall Kennedy
Architect:  N/A
Interior Design:  N/A
Year Built:  Estimated Completion in 2021
Prices:  N/A
Unit Sizes:  N/A
Levels:  20
Suites:  799
Property Type:  Residential, Commercial
Area:  Vancouver
Neighbourhood:  Downtown
Deposit Structure:  N/A
Cost/Square Foot:  N/A
Monthly Maintenance:  N/A
Cost To Purchase Parking:  N/A
Cost To Purchase Storage:  N/A


Contact Agnieszka Stryjecka for more information on 349 West Georgia, floor plans & pricing.      TAC Real Estate Corp.      778.991.5881

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