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Getting to Groundbreaking Report: Year 2 – Focus on WoodFrame Apartments

April 12, 2016

Getting to Groundbreaking (G2G) examines the residential building approval process in the metro Vancouver region. The second year of the study focused exclusively on woodframe apartment buildings.

UDI is proud to partner with GVHBA, and SFU Urban Studies on this project.

“The aim of this study is to find ways to improve transparency and determine time and cost saving measures in the development process.” – Anne McMullin, UDI President and CEO

Continuing from the inaugural report on townhouses, released December 2014, this new report continues comparative research into the development approvals process.


Key findings include:

• Application, processing, and development fees vary considerably across Metro Vancouver. Aggregating these fees into a regional average for comparison, it was found that an average of $100,000 can be saved from project costs when land is pre-zoned for apartment buildings.

• The development approval process can be shortened, on average, by 15 weeks if it is proposed on land that is pre-zoned for apartment use. The approval process can be again shortened if building permits are processed concurrently with a development application.

For report series on different structural types, see three links below.

Municipal Approval Processes in Metro Vancouver 2014: Focus on Townhomes
This original research by SFU students and others explores and benchmarks the delays and processes in municipal building approvals in residential multi-family developments across  the Metro Vancouver region and Abbotsford over various years and housing forms. Partners included: The Greater Vancouver Home Builders Association, municipalities, Real Estate Foundation of BC, developers and Metro Vancouver.  Additional housing types and their approval processes are in the three links below.

Municipal Approval Processes in Metro Vancouver 2016: Focus on Wood-Frame Apartments

Municipal Approval Processes in Metro Vancouver 2017: Focus on Infill Housing
The third edition in this series, Housing Approvals Study (HAS) specifically examines Infill Housing forms defined as narrow-lot single family, duplex, triplex, quadplex, and the secondary suite, including laneway and coach houses.

The Housing Approvals Study (HAS), undertaken by The Greater Vancouver HomeBuilders Assoc. (GVHBA) and LandCor Data, examines municipal building approval processes in an effort to reduce unnecessary time and costs for the delivery of an efficient supply of affordable housing across Metro Vancouver. HAS Best Practices (BPs) and a Composite Index are listed in an effort to foster transparent factual data-based information to encourage improvements in housing approval processes across the region.


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