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Third Space Commons

Building Type

Single Family Home / Institutional


UBC Vancouver Campus



Architecture Partners


Construction Partners


Engineering Partners

RJC (structural), 

Integral (MEP), 

RDH (energy & building envelope)

Stantec (Civil) 


BC Helical Piles

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Third Space Commons is our design-build project, on UBC’s Vancouver campus that we completed in 2023. 

Third Space Commons aligns building design and construction with global efforts to combat the climate emergency. Built on the design principles of carbon minimalism, system minimalism, flexibility & adaptability, resilience, and living lab.

We came in third place overall. We came first in the Architecture, Embodied Environmental Impact and Occupant Experience categories. 

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Our building has had three lives.

The first was as an existing single-family home on UBC’s campus. Third Quadrant deconstructed and adaptively reused materials and systems from this existing building to highlight the feasibility and need for reuse in today’s building market.

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During its second life, Third Space Commons served as a net-zero energy and carbon single-family home for the Solar Decathlon competition. With a pandemic and a growing population, our build responded to the need for flexibility in everyday life through its live-work typology. The space itself was adaptable to the needs of a family during different times of the day.  Design decisions were guided by five key principles: carbon minimalism, circularity, flexibility, living lab, and resilience.

Now that the competition is over, the building is in its third life as a living lab and student-collaboration space for UBC students. The space's flexibility allows for both formal and informal interactions in the form of a classroom and commons area. Integrated building systems such as rainwater collection, mixed-mode ventilation, and smart controls ensure that students have a 'living lab' to learn about, experiment and test climate-resilient solutions.  

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