Canadian Consulting Engineer

Consulting engineering firms join Reframed Lab to retrofit B.C. MURBs

March 26, 2022

The project will update six buildings in the Lower Mainland, Capital Regional District and Southern Interior.

Reframed Lab

Photos courtesy RJC.

Several consulting engineering firms are among the multidisciplinary design team members of Reframed Lab, a new project that aims to update select multi-unit residential buildings (MURBs) in British Columbia to save energy, reduce associated pollution, increase resilience to extreme weather events and improve health and safety.

Led by Reframed Initiative, a partnership that includes BC Housing, the six-month project involves designing retrofits for six low-rise (three- to four-storey) supportive-housing MURBs in the Lower Mainland, Capital Regional District and Southern Interior, all built between 1972 and 1994.

By way of example, RJC Engineers principal Michael Blackman will lead a building science team to retrofit the ASK Wellness Society’s concrete and steel low-rise Crossroads Inn in Kamloops, working with AME Consulting Group, LTA Consultants, O’M Engineering, Cover Architectural Collective and Projects with Grace (PwG).

Meanwhile, fellow RJC principal Leon Plett will lead a structural engineering team and work with Low Hammond Rowe Architects (LHRA), Hanscomb, ReNü Engineering and RDH Building Science to retrofit Pacifica Housing’s Medewiwin wood-framed low-rise in Victoria.


The other teams include:

“Our team decided to participate in the initiative as it presents the unique opportunity for consultants to collaboratively tackle the pressing problem of decarbonizing existing buildings,” says Laurence Kao, P.Eng., team lead at WE.

The respective municipal governments will provide regulatory support and technical guidance. Most of the renovation work—scheduled to begin this fall—will be on the buildings’ exteriors, so tenants will not be displaced from their homes for the duration.


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