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Low-Rise Building
Multi-unit residential (MURB) complex consisting of up to six storeys.  There are generally four configurations for low-rise residential buildings:
  • Single residential building on a single site.
  • Group of low residential buildings that form one legal entity (see: facility).
  • Residential floors above a retail/commercial strip (see: sections).
  • Low-rise building together with a high rise and or townhouses (see: sections and cost sharing).
Some low-rise buildings have recreation facilities, such as a clubhouse and swimming pool.

The low-rise class of buildings is the most diverse of the three classes. Firstly, variability arises due the use of both types of construction: combustible (wood frame) and non-combustible (concrete). Secondly, the architectural configurations include a single building on a site and multiple buildings on a site. Thirdly, different floor plate geometries. Heritage buildings, which are always low-rise and usually over 100 years old, were not included in the data set at their original age but rather at the age of conversion to a condominium.



A.  Physical Analysis

Some of the more significant assets at a low-rise building, that differentiates this type of development, includes the following:
  • Balconies
  • Wood frame structure
  • Plumbing is fed off city pressure
Low rise buildings have the following general physical attributes that impact maintenance requirements and lifecycle costs:
  • Cleaning of the hallway carpets

B. Financial Analysis

Low-rise buildings have lifecycle cost patterns that differ slightly from low-rise and high-rise buildings.


i)  Expenses



ii) Funding

The low-rise buildings are relatively more expensive to maintain than the high-rises as they do not enjoy the same economies of scale.

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Fig. Aerial view of a group of low-rise buildings


Low-rise residential building
Fig. Street view of a low-rise building.


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Fig. Cross section of a low-rise building


The typical number of assets in a low-rise building relative to other building classes.
Fig. The typical number of assets in a low-rise building relative to other building classes.


Summary comparison of attributes in high-rise buildings, low-rise building and townhouse complexes.
Fig. Summary comparison of attributes in high-rise buildings, low-rise building and townhouse complexes.


Sample operating budget distribution for an average high-rise building  Sample operating budget distribution for an average low-rise building. Sample operating budget distribution for an average townhouse complex
Fig. Comparison of the annual operating budget distributions for an average high-rise building (left), low-rise building (middle) and townhouse complex (right).

See also:
Compare with:

The capital load distributed across the eight primary physical systems for different types of buildings
Fig. The capital load distributed across the eight primary physical systems for different types of buildings.


Rules of thumb for roof areas at different types of buildings
Fig. Rules of thumb for roof areas at different types of buildings.

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