Supportive Housing Developments

Innovative Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) and expert offsite manufacturing have played an important role in the delivery of supporting housing in British Columbia (BC), Canada.

Supportive Housing Developments
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BC Housing


North Cowichan, British Columbia, Canada


Modern Methods of Construction (MMC)



2 min read

Two supportive housing developments were completed by BIM Academy’s sister company Ryder Architecture together with modular construction and prefabrication solutions specialists, Nomadic, for BC Housing at North Cowichan, BC with the support of BIM Academy.

The developments consist of 52 and 48 studio apartments respectively, which were purpose built for those currently experiencing or at risk of homelessness – providing safe and secure housing, offering food and shelter, as well as medical and mental health services for the area’s most vulnerable people.

The development was constructed using innovative MMC, which produced wooden framed, volumetric modules – all of which were designed and fabricated in a factory. A change in sequencing from traditional onsite construction to offsite in this way, meant that additional vigilance was needed to identify any possible problems or challenges that could be encountered onsite.

All of this was made possible by BIM Academy defining a project BIM strategy for the design team and fabricators to work towards in their production of project BIM models for the modules.

The modules are comprised of simple box structures constructed with dimensional lumber and include floor and ceiling joist framing, sheathed in plywood and oriented strand board. Exterior membrane and temporary weather protection was applied in the factory, including EPDM temporary roofing, and then shrink wrapped.  Most interior fit out and finishing also took place in the factory.

Work was able to be carried out on the superstructure at the same time as the foundations, increasing delivery speed.  The mechanical and electrical work could also take place before the roofing was complete.

This ‘design build’ procurement method used in both developments enabled early involvement of the construction team, including input from mechanical and electrical subcontractors to ensure proposals were viable. The BIM models were used to achieve greater precision in the design process and through specifying material requirements, which reduced over ordering and decreased construction site waste. These models also host essential materials data to support maintenance of the building going forward.

The success of this project was the early involvement of BIM and the collaborative working between the design teams at Ryder and BIM Academy, and Nomadic.