The Teardown Index, a collaboration with mathematician Jens von Bergmann, points to shortcomings in current single family home policy in Vancouver. Single family homes are being torn down and replaced in Vancouver at an alarming rate. 25% of single family homes will be demolished between now and 2030. The rebuilt single family homes will only be affordable to a tiny portion of Vancouver's most affluent families. Despite their high price, their value of these buildings relative to overall property is low, suggesting today's new single family home is tomorrow’s teardown. The current cycle of demolition and construction is problematic, but it also represents an opportunity to build an economically and environmentally sustainable future for Vancouver.
From an environmental perspective, the current cycle is resource intensive. Forty percent of all primary resources are used in buildings. As building operations become more efficient, the impacts of construction materials themselves will account for a larger share of overall environmental impacts of buildings. Using innovative sustainable materials to construct high quality, efficient multifamily housing can break Vancouver out of the teardown cycle, creating a more sustainable and affordable future.
Jens von Bergmann
City of Vancouver Open Data