27-year-old Christopher Bauer wants to help solve Victoria’s housing crisis, through his company that creates digital floor plans for single family homes and multi-family buildings. Anna James/ VICTORIA NEWS

HOMEFINDER: Young entrepreneur plans to tackle rental housing crisis

Terra Floor Plans sells digital plans for multi-family rental homes

Young entrepreneur Christopher Bauer wants to help solve Victoria’s housing crisis.

The 27-year-old draftsman launched Terra Floor Plans in March 2017, a company that sells cost-effective digital layouts for homes.

Although he has yet to see one of his plans transformed into a bricks-and-mortar building, he is dedicated to his mission. “I’m trying to address the rental shortage side of the housing crisis,” said Bauer, who is focusing on designing multi-family residential dwellings.

Initially, he targeted single-family, standalone homes but found little interest for his idea. Then, on the advice of Mayor Lisa Helps, he contacted Shayne Ramsay, the CEO of BC Housing, who underscored the need for multi-unit, multi-family apartments. Taking in this advice, Bauer reworked his offering.

“My designs now supply rental options for students, and units that can be subsidized by the government toward affordable housing for all,” he said, admitting that his company is a work in progress.

“We are not planning tiny homes or huge ones, we’re somewhere in the middle,” he explained, noting that his floor plans range from 480 to 3,000 square feet.

“My multi-family building can be built from a two-storey with six to nine units, up to a 10-storey with 54 to 57 units. The building design has co-housing built into it, where shared kitchens bring people from each floor together as a community.”

Included in the plans are exterior and sectional layouts, along with electrical and foundation plans. Roof framing is not included, best left to an engineer, Bauer said.

Terra Floor Plans also allows for reuse of its designs at no extra cost, “so this is a good option for developers,” he added.

While his designs are a less expensive option initially, he admitted they require a lengthier process to reach the final building stage.

“Architects usually charge two to five dollars per square foot to design, engineer and get a plan ready to build. Since I can’t do this – as a certified draftsman – I charge 30 cents per square foot, which is still competitive.”

Bauer, whose education came in environmental design at the University of British Columbia, is aware of his limitations. “I do understand architectural engineering, but I do have to get my designs signed off.”

“The idea is that a person, family or developer buys the digital floor plans and takes it to a engineer, who organizes the building permits and process,” he said. “Or you can go through the City and apply for permits yourself … My work is about providing more more affordable options.”

Find out more about Bauer’s designs at terrafloorplans.com.

anna.james@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Volunteer needed to empty dog poop can in Saanich Park

Local volunteers do the work of irresponsible dog owners at Mount Doug

Saanich police continue to search for attacker in Gordon Head sexual assault

Police urge residents to remain vigilant, lock doors and windows

Vancouver Island overdue for the big one, can also expect mega-thrust tsunami

The last big earthquake was 70 years ago in Courtenay

Proposed terms for forum exploring amalgamation between Victoria and Saanich under fire

Amalgamation Yes questions size of assembly, while Saanich stands accused of changing mandate

Sexual assault charge dropped against from CFB Esquimalt member

Navy Lt. Ronald Clancy was charged with two counts of sexual assault in August 2018

VIDEO: RCMP ask kids to help name soon-to-be police dogs

13 German shepherd puppies will be born this year

No injuries, pollution in Vancouver Harbour ship collision: Transport Canada

Transportation Safety Board says it has deployed a team of investigators look into the incident

Budget 2019: Five things to watch for in the Liberals’ final fiscal blueprint

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will release the Trudeau government’s final budget on Tuesday

New concussion guidelines launched for Canada’s Olympians, Paralympians

The guidelines will be in effect at this summer’s Pan American, Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru

Alphonso Davies doubtful for Canada game against French Guiana in Vancouver

Canada will be without injured captain Scott Arfield and veteran Will Johnson

Watchdog called after man who yelled racial slurs at B.C. vigil hurt during arrest

BC RCMP say man was ‘acting suspiciously’ at prayer vigil for victims of New Zealand mosque shootings

NDP’s Jagmeet Singh steps into the House of Commons, making history

Burnaby South MP becomes first visible minority to lead a federal party in the House of Commons

Reeling Port Alice about to lose its only bank

Scotiabank branch closure follows latest mill setback, bad for business and the elderly

Most Read