>> The Capers Building


The Capers Building, at 2211 West Fourth Avenue, is a mixed use building on a busy shopping street in the Vancouver neighborhood of Kitsilano. Completed in 1993, the project redeveloped a former auto dealership site into 78 residential units on two floors over ground level, neighborhood-serving retail and second floor office space.

The development, which has become a much-referenced example of green building practices, is the product of the vision and social conscience of developer Harold Kalke. Kalke’s philosophy is embodied in his observation that "if you keep your eye on the bottom line, chances are you have set your sights too low." Kalke believes that three development objectives must be met if a building is to be a true success: it must positively affect the occupants' lives; it must make a positive contribution to the neighbourhood; and it must show the development industry that 'there is a better way.'

The design program for achieving these objectives for 2211West Fourth included:

  • a closed loop ground source heat pump to heat the commercial and office space and penthouses in winter and cool them in summer, and to preheat the water supply;
  • extensive use of natural lighting, windows that open and private outdoor decks;
  • employment of a double exterior wall system and thermally separated windows for outstanding acoustic, moisture, and insulation performance;
  • filtered drinking water;
  • use of carpets made of recycled materials, and
  • development of an outdoor patio café and an attractive and inviting pedestrian environment.

Kalke was awarded VanCity Credit Union’s “Ethics in Action” award in recognition of the benefits the Capers Building has brought to the community.


For more information:
See the Hotson Bakker Bonniface Architects web site for additional photos of the development: www.hotsonbakker.com/plimley.html

See the Green Buildings BC Case Study for more details on the ground source heating system: www.greenbuildingsbc.com/new_buildings/case_studies/2211_West.pdf

See the Advanced Buildings Newsletter, Volume 1 No 13, May 1996 on the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada web site for further information on the design and layout of the building:

Category: Green Buildings
Organization: Kalico Developments Ltd. & Salt Lick Projects Ltd.
Project: Caper's Building / 2211 West Fourth
Address: #209 - 2211 West 4th Ave., Vancouver, BC Canada V6K 4S2
Phone: (604) 739-2500
Fax: (604) 739-2514