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Project Spotlight: Wiring a Passive House Plus in Vancouver

TCA Helped Complete Vancouver’s First-Ever Passive House! staircase with LED lighting in Vancouver passive house

For our Project Spotlights blog series, we love to highlight some of our favourite projects we’ve ever completed here at TCA Electric. A project may become a favourite for any number of reasons, but today’s project was certainly a unique challenge: providing all the rewiring and electrical work for the first-ever Passive House Plus in Vancouver and the lower mainland!

Completed in 2017, we worked on this project back when our TCA Electric team was much smaller. But even for a small and growing team, the results of this one were big! Let’s take a look at our Vancouver Passive House project.

Our client: Blackfish Homes and a North Vancouver homeowner

Now one of our longtime collaborators, this was an early project we completed alongside Blackfish Homes, a high-end custom home builder and renovator based out of Vancouver’s North Shore. They called us in for this project, located on 13th Street in North Vancouver, because they had seen our work firsthand and trusted our expertise for the project. 

We were one of several contractor teams called in to help complete this full-home remodel. It was a truly major project and undertaking for all parties, and we were excited to get involved!

The project: Create the first Passive House Plus in Vancouver

As mentioned, this project was a major renovation, as they entire home was being completely redone. Our job as electricians was to help turn this home into the first-ever Passive House Plus not just in Vancouver, but the entire lower mainland region of BC. 

“Passive House” is a designation for buildings that meet high standards of energy efficiency, comfort, and affordability. Some of the criteria used to define a Passive House include energy savings on heating and cooling, effective insulation and ventilation, and high levels of comfort for residents of the building. You can read more about this designation here

Because the entire home would need to contribute in achieving this goal, this project would call on our team’s full range of electrical expertise. Some of the tasks we would need to complete included fully rewiring the home per specs, adding some truly intricate light fixtures, fully automating the home (complete with smart lighting and blind controls), and even adding powered heated toilet seats. This house truly had it all, and we had our work cut out for us!

The challenges: Careful coordination and consulting

While our team didn’t run into any major problems with this project, this was all thanks to our careful planning and coordination throughout the project. With so many contractors working on the project all at once, we had to plan carefully and coordinate our work with many other teams to ensure that the different trades would minimize disruptions to one another’s work.

To keep the home’s electrical systems on spec, we also worked closely with the homeowner and even consulted on several design elements to match their vision for the final project. Some of these elements included LED valance lighting (brand-new on the market) and art lighting to maintain a minimalist appearance, as well as heated steps controlled by a sensor to activate during rain or low temperatures. These suggestions helped round out the home’s look and achieve the brilliant final result.

The result: A fully functioning Passive House Plus

In the end, our small team played a huge role in helping bring the lower mainland’s first-ever Passive House Plus to Vancouver. We thoroughly tested each electrical element we installed to ensure full functionality, including troubleshooting the heated steps to activate during cold weather and snow. We also coordinated with the other trades to ensure the solar power system worked to charge the home’s Tesla battery pack and feed extra power back into the grid.

The end result was a truly impressive home, and the client was very pleased with our work in particular. We were very proud of our entire team for this one, especially John Urrea (then our Site Foreman) for taking charge with the project and keeping our team on track. 

outdoor balcony of Vancouver passive house

TCA Electric: Your Vancouver Passive House Electrician

At TCA Electric, we pride ourselves on bringing every client’s vision for their home or business to life. Sometimes this can be as simple as lighting upgrades or an EV charger—while other times it involves a full home remodel to create the first Passive House Plus in Vancouver!

No matter what your dream home looks like, TCA has the electrical know-how to help bring your vision to life. Our team of licensed and qualified electrical professionals loves a challenge—and loves coming through for our clients even more! Have a dream vision for your home? Contact us today to tell us about it and start planning your next electrical project!

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