Infill Challenge Design Competition 2.0

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Sharpen your pencils: the Infill Design Challenge 2.0 is open!

The City of Kelowna is pleased to present a new open design competition for infill development. The design competition sets out to generate innovative new ideas for infill housing that works to enhance affordability, diversity, resiliency, inclusivity, and livability in Kelowna’s housing system.

Infill Design Challenge 2.0 Goals

The Infill Design Challenge (IDC) 2.0 aims to bring together architects, designers, and developers to explore infill housing options. The overarching goals of the competition are to:

  • Introduce new forms of infill housing within the city's Core Area
  • Expand housing supply and diversity in new areas
  • Show how infill housing can be well designed and meet community objectives
  • Show how infill housing can improve neighbourhoods
  • Reinforce positive relationships
Competition details

The top three submissions will receive a cash award. The first place prize is $10,000, second place is $5,000, and third place is $2,500. 

We thank our sponsors – including Canada Mortgage and Housing CorporationUrban Development Institute - Okanagan, David Alton, and Jesse East – for their generous support.   

  • Competition launch: Summer 2021 
  • Submission deadline: November 29, 2021
  • Technical review period: Fall 2021 
  • Jury review period: Fall 2021  
  • Winners announced: Late fall/early winter 2021 

IDC 2.0 is open to anyone.  

  • Entries may be submitted by teams or individuals – diverse, multi-disciplinary teams are encouraged  
  • Participants do not need to be local to Kelowna 
  • Participants do not need to be registered professionals 
  • Competitors may submit more than one entry 
  • This competition is supported by the Architecture Institute of British Columbia – AIBC members are encouraged to apply 
Evaluation criteria

Submissions will be judged according to how well they might the competition's five big-picture principles:

  1.  Diversity: Increase housing supply through a diverse range of ground-oriented infill housing options 
  2.  Affordability: Improve housing affordability and reduce barriers to building affordable housing 
  3. Creativity & Context: Design new infill housing that demonstrates innovation and creativity while acknowledging and complementing its existing context 
  4.  Resiliency: Enhance the resiliency and sustainability of neighbourhoods in the face of climate change 
  5.  Inclusivity & Liveability: Contribute to inclusive, complete neighbourhoods and ensure housing serves the needs of current and future residents 

In addition, jurors will consider whether the proposals are feasible and broadly applicable across Kelowna’s Core Area. 

View the design brief for full competition details. 

More Info
Infill in Kelowna

The City of Kelowna has historically shown leadership on infill housing, including allowing secondary suites and carriage houses in some areas of the City as far back as the 1990s. In 2016, City of Kelowna staff hosted an Infill Challenge Design Competition to promote housing diversity and encourage new forms of infill development. The competition invited architects and designers to submit an infill housing design for a typical lot with lane access in neighbourhoods close to downtown.

Through the first competition, two winning designs were selected and formed the basis for a new sensitive infill zone (RU7). The RU7 zone was adopted in 2017, which allows up to four units per lot. Over 800 parcels in Kelowna’s central neighbourhoods were pre-zoned to RU7. Since early 2017, about 300 infill units on RU7 lots have received building permits.

Infill housing remains a key priority in Kelowna for Council and the community, and the City is now hosting a second Infill Design Competition to generate ideas for infill housing in new areas of Kelowna’s Core. Twenty-five per cent of future development will be achieved through infill.

What is infill?

Infill adds new housing units within existing neighbourhoods.

Infill is commonly referred to as 'missing middle'  due to the fact that it is multi-unit housing that fills the gap between high-density multi-storey apartment buildings and low-density single-detached homes.

These housing forms are considered “missing” because they have tended to be absent in cities across Canada  — including Kelowna.

Why infill?

Kelowna is one of Canada’s fastest growing cities, and is being shaped by factors including shifting demographics, highly unaffordable housing, and a changing climate. Infill has a critical role to play in meeting our community’s housing needs.

Infill housing forms can increase affordability and housing diversity.  While currently approximately 80% of Kelowna’s residential land is zoned for single dwelling housing, only about 20% of Kelowna residents can afford to purchase a median priced single dwelling home.  

Encouraging this type of housing is essential for creating a more inclusive community with more housing options for people at all stages of life and income levels.

Infill housing can also help us manage our growth in a more sustainable way, by supporting more compact, complete communities that help to limit sprawl, make it easier for people to get around, reduce our community's carbon footprint, and protect our natural environment from the pressures of development. As a result, infill offers a meaningful opportunity to meet many of the goals residents identified through Imagine Kelowna, our comunity vision.


Email Arlene Janousek at