Accessory Dwelling Unit design competition launched in Squamish

Winning designs for self-contained, sustainable living units will receive priority building permit processing for homeowners who wish to build one

The District of Squamish has launched an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Design Competition to encourage housing diversity and affordability in Squamish. The competition invites B.C. residents aged 19+ to submit an ADU design that Squamish property owners could choose to build on their property without the need for a rezoning or development permit, saving property owners time, money and effort. The winning designs – e.g. for carriage homes, laneway cottages, or other - will be available for public purchase from the designers as a pre-reviewed ADU plan for use on private properties in Squamish neighbourhoods.

“Accessory dwelling units on existing private properties are one of the ways we can address the critical housing shortage and housing affordability in Squamish as our neighbourhoods grow and evolve over time,” says District of Squamish Mayor Armand Hurford. “This is an opportunity for designers, architects and creatives to be part of the solution and innovate small, self-contained, sustainable living spaces that are affordable and attainable in Squamish.”

Hosting an ADU design competition is one of the actions outlined in the Squamish Housing Action Plan Overview and is funded by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation Housing Accelerator Fund, a federal grant program that was awarded to the District of Squamish in January 2024. The competition aims to raise awareness around the benefits of ADUs and inspire homeowners with examples of ADUs that can be built across the community under B.C.’s new zoning regulations and guidelines as part of the small-scale multi-unit housing initiative.

First, second and third place winners will be selected for each of the competition’s three design categories, Carriage House, Elevated Cottage and Front Yard ADU. Submissions will be evaluated by members of the District of Squamish Advisory Design Panel based on a set of criteria outlined in the competition submission guidelines. The winning ADU designs will become recognized Pre-Reviewed Plans for use in specific neighbourhoods of Squamish and will be made available for public purchase from the designers. Building permit applications that are submitted for Pre-Reviewed Plans will be placed in a priority sequence ahead of other ADU and suite applications.

The Accessory Dwelling Unit Design Competition welcomes expressions of interest from B.C. residents aged 19 through April 11, 2024. The deadline for proposal submissions is May 23, 2024; winners will be announced in June 2024.

For more information and to view the competition submission details, visit

March 13, 2024

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  • Jasdeep Grewal Mar 13, 2024, 4:53 PM (4 months ago)

    Brilliant idea to generate much needed housing.

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