1212 Howe Street, Vancouver, BC.
1212 Howe Street - Exterior
|Developer||Wall Financial Corporation|
|Architect||Buttjes Architecture Inc.|
|Management Company||Crosby Property Management|
|Number of Units||150|
|Number of Floors||18|
|Type of Roof||PMR|
|1212 Howe Street, Vancouver, BC.|
|Distance to Public Transit||More than 40 options nearby|
|Title of Land||Strata|
It rains in Vancouver. Some say it rains a lot.
Only a few years after the original structure at 1212 Howe went up, the building experienced a “premature failure due to water ingress through the building envelope”. Fancy-speak to tell the layperson that a whole lot of water got in.
In fine style, building engineers turned this from a fairly large failure, into a chance to do something that qualified as a “significant departure from traditional renovation approaches”. They removed the building’s stucco cladding and steel frame down to the concrete support structure. In itself, that’s nothing new. But they did it from the top down – and the inside out. And in place of the original facing, they installed a system of energy-efficient eight-foot window-walls.
As far as building backgrounds go, a 2008 rebuild due to water damage isn't exactly a storied past, but the more successful agents at 1212 Howe recognize its new face as a testament to the building’s (re)engineers taking an honest mistake and using it to seriously raise the bar on efficiency, durability and aesthetics.
Vancouver might have its share of bright lights, but it’s not really a big city. Enthusiastic walkers can get from one end of the downtown core to the other in just under 20 minutes. Which puts the rest of Greater Vancouver nicely in perspective. It doesn't sprawl by any means, but it packs a lot in.
There are nearly 50 public transit options within easy walking distance of 1212 Howe’s front door. A five minute bus ride under Granville Bridge will take a traveler to Granville Island for artisan crafts and the city’s biggest live theatre venues. All the way across the bridge are the “other” artsy hotspots. Not the biggest, but a lot of the local talent would say they’re the best.
Five minutes the other way is the center of Vancouver’s upscale shopping district at the intersection of Granville and Robson Street. And the club-and-pub section of Granville is just one block down from Howe Street, itself. The down-side? Come Friday and Saturday night, the neighborhood at 1212 Howe can get a little noisy. In Vancouver, however, “a little noisy” is still a pretty darn polite racket.
Standing 18 stories high, with a grand total of 150 suites, 1212 Howe is fairly modest among high-rises. For all intents and purposes, the “current version” of the building wasn't really finished until 2008, after water damage led engineers to perform a major face-lift on the original structure.
They tore away the building’s cladding, and the majority of its steel frame, right down to its concrete under-structure – more on how they did that in the “Background” section of this article. Suffice to say that when 1212’s new look was revealed – complete with over sized “window-walls” – residents old and new found an enormous improvement in natural light, heat management and overall aesthetic.
Layout and Features
Since its 2008 remodeling, the windows at 1212 Howe have obviously become a commanding feature in its apartments. But in terms of the practicalities, the suites are available in either one or two-bedroom layouts, with carpet or laminate flooring. Kitchens are finished with polished stone worktops. Most suites have either terraces or small balconies, and a select few are equipped with en-suite washer and dryer.
Leading agents are also quick to note that the building’s common areas are wheelchair-friendly, and a number of the units have been adapted for use by residents with mobility impairments. 
A selection of 1212 Howe's available floor plans:
1212 Howe's list of amenities includes:
- Common greenspace
- Exercise area
- Bike room
- Laundry facilities (en-suite in select units)
|1212 Howe Bylaws|
- 1212 Howe is pet-friendly.
- Suites are available for rental and/or purchase.
- There are no age restrictions on residency.
- Barbecues are permitted in select suites and common spaces.
Once again, 1212 Howe’s unexpected face-lift bodes well for the overall sustainability of the building. Its second round of windows are sealed and glazed for energy efficiency, as well as heat management. The same can be said of its newer PMR roof. Individual suites also come with low-energy/low-flow appliances and fixtures.
On a citywide level, Vancouver is making serious strides toward becoming “The World’s Greenest City” by the year 2020. On the whole, it has more green space than any other major urban center in Canada. It also has the means to recycle almost anything, and city authorities have purposely limited the amount of parking space downtown in order to encourage the use of public transit.
Unless regularly commuting to the farther reaches of Vancouver’s suburbs, prospective residents at 1212 Howe – and anywhere else in the heart of downtown – are strongly advised to save time. Stop looking for a parking spot and take the bus.
- The greenest jewel in Vancouver's crown (and a brisk walk from 1212 Howe), Stanley Park opened in 1888. It's named after Lord Stanley of Preston, then Governor General of Canada. If the name sounds familiar, he's the same guy who left hockey fans everywhere the Stanley Cup.
- Stanley Park covers 1001 acres of land. Roughly the same space as the whole of downtown Vancouver.
- The folks at Condopedia have written up quite a few of the buildings in the neighborhood of New York's Central Park. If Stanley Park's expanse looks a little like Central's, that's probably because much of its landscaping is inspired by Central Park's designer, Frederick Law Olmsted.
- Keeping with the whole New York angle, Stanley Park is also home to a huge population of grey squirrels. The first eight of those were a gift from the City of New York in 1908.
- APEG BC Project Highlights 07-08
- Walk Score
- BC Condos
- Vancouver - Green 2020
- Gay Vancouver - Stanley Park Trivia
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