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Zibi Complexe O

One Planet Living project one step in reclaiming former industrial site

By Figurr Architects Collective

Located in both Ottawa and Gatineau, the Zibi development aims to be transformative physically, environmentally and socially. The only One Planet Living endorsed community in Canada, Zibi occupies formerly contaminated industrial lands, and is transforming them into one of Canada’s most sustainable communities. Incorporating public spaces and parks, as well as commercial, retail, and residential uses, Zibi will be an integrated, carbon neutral mixed-use community, one that’ll help reinvigorate the downtown cores of both Ottawa and Gatineau.

Complexe O, located on the Gatineau side of the Ottawa River, is Zibi’s first mixed-use building. It arose from the desire to create a socially responsible project that would set a precedent for future development.  The project takes its name from the word ‘eau’ (water) as it offers residents a panoramic view of the Ottawa River and the Chaudière Falls. The six-storey Complexe O building includes a range of housing from studios to two-storey mezzanine units, as well as commercial space on the first floor.

The location is significant; as under the ownership of Domtar (whose paper mill closed in 2007) the land had been inaccessible to the public for nearly 200 years. Now cleaned up and revitalized, the riverbank is once again available to the residents, not only of Complexe O, but all of Gatineau.

The architectural program is based on the ten principles of One Planet Living, one of the broadest frameworks for sustainable development, which sets a range of measurable goals. The fundamental principles guiding the construction of Complexe O are the use of carbon-neutral heating and cooling and sustainable water management. The project has achieved LEED Silver certification.

Carbon neutral energy is supplied from the Zibi Community Utility, a district energy system relying on energy recovery from effluents of the nearby Kruger Products Gatineau Plant for heating, and the Ottawa River for cooling. All the apartments in Complexe O are fitted with Energy Star certified appliances; LED lighting has been used throughout the entire building, including first floor commercial units and amenity spaces; and generous glazing reduces the need for artificial light.

The commercial space on the first floor is leased primarily to local and socially-responsible businesses, enabling residents to shop for essentials without having to rely on transportation. n addition, the central location in the heart of Gatineau is served by numerous bus lines from both Gatineau and Ottawa offering hundreds of trips per day.

This connectivity contributes to the Zibi development goal of a 20% reduction in carbon dioxide associated with transportation as measured by the car-to-household ratio. While the rest of the province has a 1.45 car to household ratio, the residents of Complex O have reduced this to 1:1. In addition all parking spaces are designed to accommodate electric charging units.

The project is located right on the Zibi Plaza, in fact forming one wall of the plaza, which offers residents a quiet and relaxing outdoor space that is closed to vehicular traffic but crossed by a bicycle path. Art exhibits are held in the vicinity to support local artists and artisans. Complexe O also provides residents with 15 garden boxes; gardening being an effective way to foster community.

PROJECT CREDITS

  • Architect  Figurr Architects Collective
  • Owner/ Developer  DREAM / Theia Partners
  • General Contractor  Eddy Lands Construction Corp.
  • Landscape Architect  Projet Paysage / CSW Landscape Architects
  • Civil engineer  Quadrivium
  • Electrical Engineer  Drycore 2002 Inc. / WSP Canada Inc.
  • Mechanical Engineer  Alliance Engineering / Goodkey Weedmark & Associate Ltd.
  • Structural Engineer Douglas Consultants Inc.
  • Other consultants  BuildGreen Solutions, Morrison Hershfield
  • Photos  David Boyer

ONE PLANET LIVING

One Planet Living is based on a simple framework which enables everyone – from the general public to professionals – to collaborate on a sustainability strategy drawing on everyone’s insights, skills and experience. It is based on ten guiding principles of sustainability which are used to create holistic solutions.

• Encouraging active, social, meaningful lives to promote good health and wellbeing.

• Creating safe, equitable places to live and work which support local prosperity and international fair trade.

• Nurturing local identity and heritage, empowering communities and promoting a culture of sustainable living.

• Protecting and restoring land for the benefit of people and wildlife.

• Using water efficiently, protecting local water resources and reducing flooding and drought.

• Promoting sustainable humane farming and healthy diets high in local, seasonal organic food and vegetable protein.

• Reducing the need to travel, encouraging walking, cycling and low carbon transport.

• Using materials from sustainable sources and promoting products which help people reduce consumption; promoting reuse and recycling.

• Making buildings and manufacturing energy efficient and supplying all energy with renewable.

FIGURR ARCHITECTS COLLECTIVE HAS OFFICES IN OTTAWA & MONTREAL.

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Montreal Biodome

Interior redesign complements extant architecture with minimal use of materials

Housed in the former Velodrome constructed for the Montréal 1976 Olympic Games, the Biodome opened in 1992 and is a jewel in the crown of a consortium of facilities that collectively account for the most visited museum spaces in Canada.

After winning an international architectural competition in 2014, KANVA, co-founded by Rami Bebawi and Tudor Radulescu, was commissioned for the $25 million project by Space for Life, the body charged with overseeing operations of the Biodome, Planetarium, Insectarium, and Botanical Garden.

“Our mandate was to enhance the immersive experience between visitors and the museum’s distinct ecosystems, as well as to transform the building’s public spaces,” notes Rami Bebawi, a partner of KANVA and the project’s lead architect. “In doing so, we embraced the role that the Biodome plays in sensitizing humans to the intricacies of natural environments, particularly in the current context of climate change and the importance of understanding its effects.”

KANVA studied the complexity of both building and program, a living entity comprised of ecosystems and complex machinery critical to supporting life. They realized that any intervention they proposed must be very delicate, and would require careful coordination and management within a truly collaborative design process. The success of this approach serves as a model for the future to better address the environmental issues in design.

The team began by targeting spaces that could be transformed in ways that would maximize the value of the building’s architectural heritage. The carving of a new core combined with the demolition of the low ceiling at the main entrance opened the space skyward to the extraordinary roof, composed of massive skylight panels that infuse the building with an abundance of natural light.

This massive open space became the circulation core between the ecosystems. To guide visitors, KANVA worked with Montreal-based Sollertia, on the parametric design and construction of a lightweight fabric living skin [1] that could be wrapped around the ecosystems to guide visitors, differentiate spaces and modulate the multi-sensory experience of the exhibits. The fabric walls total 500 metres in length, with the largest section being 18m x 18m.

The complex curvature of this biophilic skin, with its aluminum supporting structure, required sophisticated engineering and minutely precise prefabrication. Using a combination of tension, cantilevers, and triangular beams for suspension, the system is anchored to a primary steel structure. Mechanical junctions accommodate a variety of movements and allow for on-site adjustments.

Text edited by SABMag editior Jim Taggart, FRAIC from material supplied by the project team.

PROJECT CREDITS

  • Design Architect and Project Manager  KANVA
  • Collaborating Architect  NEUF architects
  • Textile Architecture Specialist/Fabricator  Sollertia
  • Electromechanical Engineers  Bouthillette Parizeau Inc.
  • Structural Engineer  NCK Inc.
  • Building Code and Cost Consultant  Groupe GLT+
  • Specification writer  Atelier 6
  • Lighting Design Consultant  LightFactor
  • Collaborating Exhibition Designer  La bande à Paul
  • Collaborating Set Designer  Anick La Bissonnière
  • Collaborating Museologist  Nathalie Matte
  • Wayfinding Specialist  Bélanger Design
  • Land Surveyor  Topo 3D
  • Acoustics Specialist  Soft dB
  • Photos  James Brittain

The complex curvature of the fabric membrane walls, with their aluminum supporting structure, required sophisticated engineering and precise prefabrication. The membrane chosen for the Biodome (Alphalia Silent AW by Sollertia) has acoustic properties which reduce sound reverberation and improve the comfort of the visitors.

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Okanagan College Health Sciences Centre

Model of healthcare education targets Net-Zero Carbon, WELL and LEED Gold certifications

By Peter Osborne

Located on a narrow brownfield site on the Kelowna campus of Okanagan College, the Health Sciences Centre includes technology-enhanced and student-centred labs, classrooms, and offices for health and social development programs.

The chosen site allowed the building to make use of  existing campus infrastructure; create a new front door to the existing laboratory building; and provide opportunities for shared use. The 3,300m² building is organized around a three-storey day-lit atrium, with ample interior glazing providing views into the generous program spaces and facilitating social connections.

Contrasting the solid facade, ground floor entries and public spaces are transparent, guiding visitors into and through the building. This strategic use of glazing contributes to a high-performance building envelope, greater resilience and occupant comfort.

The building utilizes waste heat generated by the nearby wastewater treatment plant, integrates photovoltaic panels for its primary heating and energy needs, requires no natural gas-fired HVAC systems and will earn the CaGBC’s Zero Carbon Building Design certification through demonstration of zero-carbon balance, meeting a defined threshold for thermal energy demand intensity and the provision of on-site renewable energy systems.

It was important to the College that the architecture of this new educational facility embody the health and wellness its programs support, through its use of materials, light, and landscape. As such, it is a catalyst for sustainability and wellness-focused policy changes across campus.

The design process included comprehensive consultation with local First nations, whose traditional notions of health and wellbeing will provide new insights into healthcare education in Canada. The design grew from a narrative, developed in consultation with the Westbank First Nation, around the act of weaving. The narrative provided a contemporary methodology to explore the connected histories and futures of the Syilx people, the College and students. This is evident, both in the building’s facade that references the warp and weft of fabric; and in the mass timber clerestory that criss-crosses the length of the building. These consultations also informed the selection of traditional medicinal plant species for the two new landscaped areas that bookend the building.

Operable windows and the central atrium create a natural stack effect within the building, allowing air to move up through the building to be exhausted through an energy recovery ventilator. Daylight penetrates the floor plate through clerestory glazing and all regularly occupied spaces have access to daylight and views.

PROJECT PERFORMANCE

  • Energy intensity (building and process energy) = 94KWhr/m²/year
  • Energy intensity reduction relative to reference building (under NECB 2011) = 46 %
  • Percentage of annual energy consumption met with renewables = 48%
  • Recycled material content by value = 29%
  • Construction waste diverted from landfill = 80%

PROJECT CREDITS

  • Owner/Developer  Okanagan College
  • Architect  GEC Architecture
  • General Contractor  Stuart Olson
  • Landscape Architect  WSP
  • Civil Engineer  WSP
  • Electrical Engineer  Falcon Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineer  CIMA+
  • Structural Engineer  RJC Engineers
  • Commissioning Agent Inland Technical
  • Sustainability Consulting  EcoAmmo
  • Photos  Latitude Photography

The Fibre C cladding supplied by Sound Solutions is a glassfibre reinforced cementitious product in Polar White Matt finish and Polar White Ferro finish. It has ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certifications, and an environmental product declaration (EPD).

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SELKIRK REGIONAL HEALTH CENTRE

Design makes access to natural light and the outdoors fundamental to patient health

Like any city that is reaching a new level of livability, Selkirk, Manitoba has grown to need significant health services and facilities for local residents and those living in the region. The new two-storey, state-of-the-art, LEED Gold Selkirk Regional Health Centre (SRHC) is a 184,000 square foot regional healthcare hub,  offering everything from a birthing centre, dialysis,  surgery, cancer care, MRI diagnostics and outpatient programs, serving the Interlake region.

By James Orlikow

The Centre features an interior contemplation courtyard with a light sculpture, three accessible roof terraces; and a green roof that is overlooked from patient bedrooms. The landscape and building connect seamlessly through an active, south-facing, family/staff courtyard with a sun deck and outdoor ‘kitchen’.

With a focus on having as much natural light as possible in the building, glazed curtain walls are located in all public areas, starting at the front entrance and completely surrounding the contemplation courtyard as a ‘light well’ wayfinding feature.

The colours and finishes of the building echo the water, sky and earth of the Interlake region. Shades of aqua and warm terra cotta balance the golden buff Tyndall stone walls. The first and last impression at every threshold on the site.

Selkirk Regional Health Centre is a replacement facility required due to the premature obsolescence of the existing 1980s hospital. Accordingly, SRHC strives for durability, maintainability, and sustainability within a responsible economic framework. The site configuration, building placement, and orientation responds to the program needs; connectivity to the adjacent health campus; future pedestrian linkages; land drainage requirements; and the horizontal loop geothermal system.

Beyond the functional drivers, SHRC’s strategic planning and design aspirations were ‘access to natural light and outdoor spaces’ for all patients, families and staff.

The SRHC campus transforms 12 hectares of vacant commercial lands, of which more than six hectares  have been converted to naturalized parkland and another hectare to xeroscaped plazas and courtyards. In addition, the building has a 250m2 green roof. 

A network of passive stormwater management features such as dry stream beds, bioswales, and seasonal retention areas work in concert with carefully sited buildings, shelterbelts, and low-mow grassland areas. This forms the framework for all of the other opens spaces on site while managing 100% of the stormwater generated by the new development and creating optimum microclimates that extend public use of the grounds to all seasons.  The development re-establishes the pre-existing aspen forest, tall-grass prairie and wetland ecozones of the Interlake on site.

The constant volume air delivery systems comply with CSA Z317.2 ventilation standard for healthcare facilities. Fresh air rates outlined in the CSA standard ensures indoor air quality to enhance patient recovery and the wellness of occupants. Most regularly occupied spaces are located on the perimeter of the building allowing access to daylight and views.

PROJECT CREDITS

  • Owner/Developer  Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority
  • Prime Consultant  LM Architectural Group
  • General Contractor Ellis Don
  • Associate Architect  Stantec Architecture Ltd.
  • Landscape Architect  HTFC Planning & Design
  • Civil Engineer/LEED Advisor  MMM Group WSP
  • Electrical Engineer MCW / AGE Consultants Ltd
  • Mechanical Engineer  SMS Engineering Ltd.
  • Structural Engineer  Crosier, Kilgour & Partners Ltd.
  • Commissioning Agent  Demand Side Energy Consultants
  • Interior Design  Environmental Space Planning
  • Photos  Gerry Kopelow

PROJECT PERFORMANCE

  • Energy intensity (building and process energy) = 361.9KWhr/m²/year
  • Energy intensity reduction relative to reference building under MNECB 1997 = 54%
  • Water consumption from municipal sources = 1,487 litres/occupant/year
  • Reduction in water consumption relative to reference building under LEED = 43%
  • Recycled material content by value = 23.67%
  • Regional materials (800km radius) by value = 10.95%
  • Construction waste diverted from landfill = 63%

James Orlikow, FRAIC, Principal in Charge of the SRHC Project; Senior Advisor at LM Architectural Group, Winnipeg.

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ROB AND CHERYL MCEWEN GRADUATE STUDY & RESEARCH BUILDING

Solar chimney marks addition to Schulich School of Business, York University

Architecture and engineering are seamlessly integrated in the Rob and Cheryl McEwen graduate 6,166m²  academic research and classroom building to create a unique, climate responsive, hybrid environmental design  that promotes occupant wellbeing, while reducing energy use intensity to a level significantly below the model national reference standard.

By Barry Sampson

Environmental design strategies include:

  • Optimized building orientation and façade design for effective shading and solar harvesting;
  • A high-performance envelope with window-to-wall ratio carefully calibrated for effective daylighting and maximized insulation;
  • High-efficiency mechanical systems including activated concrete with radiant heating and cooling, high output metal cooling acoustic baffles and dedicated outside air displacement system.
  • A hybrid active/passive bioclimatic system featuring a climate responsive solar chimney that uses stack effect to drive effective building-wide natural ventilation, and contributes to passive pre-heating of the fresh air supply.
  • The project is targeting LEED Gold certification and is also equipped with the energy infrastructure required to achieve net zero energy in the future, pending the addition of onsite photovoltaic panels and geothermal boreholes. Together, the bustling atrium and the landmark solar chimney are physical manifestations of the school’s dual goals: to break down the physical and social barriers to creative thinking, while simultaneously putting into action the School’s commitment to sustainable design.

The unique form and architectural identity of the McEwen Building results from the synthesis of climate- adapted passive system design, program planning, and urban design responses to challenging site constrains.

Folded surfaces are used to transform the building footprint from alignment with the south-east orientation of the campus to optimal solar orientation of the building’s south facade for effective shading and solar energy harvesting, in particular optimizing the solar preheat mode of the solar chimney.  South- and west-facing glazing with Inline Fiberglass windows is shaded in summer by solar awnings and louvered shading devices.

The south-facing wind-sheltered courtyard creates an extension of the building’s social terrain and expands the existing system of interconnected courtyards of the original Schulich complex.

With interior social activities of the atrium visible through the exterior glazed wall and the chimney illuminated above as a landmark at night, these two strategic elements emphasize the social and environmental roles of the building to the campus at large.  Access by public transit is straightforward, facilitating the hosting of a variety of events and conferences. With York University subway station just a three-minute walk away, there was no requirement for additional on-site parking; instead, numerous bike parking rings were installed near the building entrances.

The 28-metre tall solar chimney, situated on top of the central atrium, drives the multi modal hybrid active/passive ventilation and environmental control system. The building automation system monitors the rooftop weather station and controls the switching between three ventilation modes: passive hybrid natural ventilation mode in shoulder seasons, active preheat mode in winter, and active cooling mode in summer.

In active modes, during the summer and winter when windows must be closed to save energy and control humidity, the building uses a Dedicated Outside Air System (programmed to save energy by meeting ventilation requirements only, rather than heating or cooling which are provided by the Klimatrol [Klimatrol (Rehau)- (905) 454-1742 and Artech (Lindner) (905) 454-1742] radiant system), and low-speed displacement ventilation. This delivers a building-wide 1.8 air changes per hour (ACH); however, this is a rare maximum supply since occupancy sensors ensure that ventilation air is delivered only where required.

PROJECT CREDITS

  • Owner/Developer  York University
  • Architect  Baird Sampson Neuert Architects
  • General Contractor  Ellis Don Construction
  • Landscape Architect  PLANT Architect Inc.
  • Civil Engineer  R.V. Anderson Associates Limited
  • Electrical/ Mechanical Engineer  Crosssey Engineering Ltd.
  • Structural Engineer  Blackwell Structural Engineers
  • Commissioning Agent JLL
  • Climate Consultants  Transsolar
  • Code Consultant  Leber Rubes Inc.
  • Building Envelope Consultants  RDH Building Science Inc.
  • Acoustical Consultants  Swallow Acoustic Consultants
  • Cost Consultants  Vermeulens Cost Consultants
  • Elevator Consultant  KJA Consultants Inc.
  • Photos  Steven Evans Photography & Cindy Nguyen

PROJECT PERFORMANCE

  • Energy intensity (building and process energy) = 89.1 KWhr/m²/year
  • Energy intensity reduction relative to reference building under MNECB = 74,2%
  • Water consumption from municipal sources = 2,170 litres/occupant/year
  • Reduction in water consumption relative to reference building under LEED = 47%
  • Recycled material content by value = 20.1%
  • Regional materials (800km radius) by value = 39,2%
  • Construction waste diverted from landfill = 88.5%
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THE ROTUNDA

High-performance office building rejuvenates downtown neighbourhood

Occupying a prominent downtown corner across from Victoria’s historic City Hall, this mixed-use commercial complex includes two levels of underground parking, a street level with landscaped boulevards and public plazas flanked by ground floor retail spaces. The six-storey, 10,362 m² west building and 13-storey, 16,299 m² east building house class-A office space above.

By Franc D’Ambrosio, Founding Principal, Erica Sangster, Principal, D’AMBROSIO architecture + urbanism and Andy Chong, Managing Principal, INTEGRAL GROUP.

Urban Design and Architecture

The developer’s aim was to contribute to the resurgence of Victoria’s downtown, provide much needed high-quality office space and set a design benchmark in the regeneration of a moribund city block. The building forms have been sculpted to define street edges and create public spaces that are welcoming, human scaled, and integrated with both the street fabric and the building activity.

The fundamental massing strategy was to divide the site laterally and thereby locate two separate and distinct buildings.  As a complex of two buildings, the project is in scale with the surrounding context. The separation has allowed for gracious public open spaces and also facilitated phased construction.  The two buildings share aspects of form and materials, but differ in their massing and façade composition. Both outwardly express their function, with slender office wings and primary circulation routes clearly articulated in concrete and glass.

The public focus of the project is the Rotunda, a 500m² sky-lit atrium that brings natural light into the centre of the west building and also functions as the return air plenum for the ventilation system. To support the 20-metre diameter skylight, a unique structure comprising six ‘boomerang-shaped’ radially arranged, glue-laminated timber members was designed. The members are connected with steel tension rods, as well as concentric steel tension and compression rings – a solution that is economical in material use and maximizes daylight penetration.

Energy

The project’s  Energy Utilization Intensity (EUI) was reduced by high-performance in three main areas: building envelope; ventilation heat recovery; and building heating and cooling.  Building envelope options were optimized using energy modelling, and include a continuous layer of exterior insulation to achieve R-30 in walls. 

Combined with high-performance double-glazing and a strategic window-to-wall ratio, the building enclosure minimizes both heat loss, and cooling requirements due to solar heat gains.

Heating and cooling for the building is driven by a hybrid air/ground-source heat-recovery chiller plant.  This system can operate in either air-source mode (taking advantage of Victoria’s relatively temperate climate), or in ground-source (maintaining compressor efficiency, while using only a modestly-sized borehole field). Radiant ceiling panels provide heating and cooling to all office spaces, using moderate water temperatures and eliminating the need for fans to distribute space heating and cooling.

Ventilation

The larger east building uses underfloor air distribution and displacement ventilation. Dual core heat recovery technology reverses intake and exhaust pathways every 60 seconds, alternately charging large aluminum cores to achieve more than 80% effective heat recovery; much higher than conventional fixed-plate or wheel-type systems.

Variable speed AHU fans and automatic VAV dampers modulate the supply of dedicated ventilation air (no recirculation) in response to CO2 and humidity levels, maintaining indoor air quality and exhausting latent heat gains, while conserving energy for fans, heating, and dehumidification. All systems are controlled by a comprehensive digital Building Automation System.

PROJECT PERFORMANCE

  • Energy Intensity = 102 kWh/m²-yr
  • Thermal Energy Demand Intensity = 22.9 kWh/m²-yr
  • Energy Consumption Reduction vs. ASHRAE 90.1-2007 (LEED 2009) Baseline = 45%
  • Energy Cost Savings vs. ASHRAE 90.1-2007 (LEED 2009) Baseline = 33%

PROJECT CREDITS

  • Owner/Developer: Jawl Properties
  • Architect: D’Ambrosio Architecture + Urbanism
  • General Contractor / Construction Manager: Campbell Construction   
  • Energy Model: Integral Group
  • Structural Engineer: RJC Engineers
  • Building Envelope: RDH
  • Landscape Architect: Murdoch & de Greeff
  • Electrical Engineer:  AES
  • Mechanical Engineer  Integral Group
  • Structural Engineer:  RJC Engineers
  • LEED Consultant:  Integral Group
  • Photos: Sama Jim Canzian

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UBC AQUATIC CENTRE

Advanced sustainable design strategies improve performance in this challenging building type

Completed In 2017, this 8000m² hybrid competition and community aquatic facility replaces an aging indoor and outdoor pool complex, no longer capable of meeting the University of British Columbia’s changing needs. The challenge was to create a facility that would balance the high-performance training requirements of the university successful competitive swim program, with the increased demand for lessons and leisure opportunities from the rapidly expanding residential communities on campus.

By Jim Taggart

The Aquatic Centre is divided north south into four linear program ‘bars’ – lobby and change rooms, community aquatics, competition aquatics, and bleachers. Daylight is used to differentiate between the two aquatic halls. A line of Y-shaped columns supports a continuous six-metre wide skylight that bisects the aquatic hall, delineating competition and leisure areas. A translucent screen creates a luminescent barrier between the two principal spaces, making it possible to control the uses, and have two different activities or events taking place simultaneously.

The architectural composition consists of three distinct elements: a tessellated standing seam metal roof that hovers over an inclined black concrete base, and is separated from it by a continuous ribbon of fritted glazing. The roof rises and falls according to the functional requirements of the spaces below, its slopes and projections providing rain protection, solar shading, and control of daylight penetration as required. The building has become an integral part of the university’s new student hub, adjacent to the bus loop and a few steps from the new student union building.

As a building type, aquatic centres present some major challenges from the sustainability perspective, including water conservation, air quality, energy optimization, light control and acoustic performance.

Water Conservation

Of these, water conservation is the most significant, standard practice being that pools are emptied and the water discarded every time the pool requires maintenance. For the project team, not only did this seem an outdated practice from an environmental point of view, it also seemed incompatible with UBC’s reputation as a leading proponent of sustainable design.

In fact, water conservation has been an important consideration for the UBC Properties Trust for two decades, with new buildings now required to reduce water consumption by 30% relative to the reference standard. This is part of an overall requirement that all new projects are built to LEED Gold standard.

With the university currently conducting research on regenerative neighbourhoods, the project team began looking for ways in which the building could contribute positively to the infrastructure requirements of the community as a whole.

The answer was to create an underground cistern that could not only collect all the pool water during maintenance, but also supply the fire department should the need arise, or accommodate storm surge water for the north campus precinct, so relieving pressure on the existing storm sewer system.

The cistern, which has a capacity of 900,000 litres, is divided into three compartments according to the amount of filtration required prior to reuse. Another of its functions is to collect rainwater from the roof and the adjacent transit plaza, reusing it for toilet flushing, irrigation and poll top up.

  • PROJECT CREDITS
  • Client  UBC Properties Trust
  • Architects   MJMA & Acton Ostry Architects
  • Photos  Shai Gil; Ema Peter

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Valleyview town hall

New municipal building aims for Passive House Plus

By Oscar Flechas

The new Valleyview Town Hall is an 800 m² two-storey plus basement building located in Valleyview, 350Km north of Edmonton in the heart of Alberta’s oil country. Despite the large seasonal fluctuations in temperature and sunlight levels at this latitude, Valleyview Town Hall is aiming to be the first Passive House certified commercial building in Alberta and the first Passive House Plus in North America. This means that on-site renewables meet 100% of the building’s energy demand on an annual basis, a giant leap forward for a town with fewer than 2,000 residents.

The building reuses the footprint of a previous structure, minimizing site disturbance, preserving adjacent community park space and capitalizing on solar orientation. With the latter being a vital strategy in this extreme climate, the program is organized with high-traffic working areas towards the long, naturally-lit south side to ensure energy balancing. In the warmer months, heat gains are controlled with fixed shades that cut out the high angle sun.

In addition to its aggressive energy targets, the Passive House Standard requires excellent indoor air quality through carefully calibrated mechanical ventilation and air recirculation systems. To maintain steady temperatures over all three levels of the building, ventilation specifications included a mix of outdoor variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system for cooling and heating, and a high-efficiency energy recovery ventilator.

To further enhance indoor environmental quality, all interior finishes, paints, adhesives, flooring and composite wood products are specified to contain low amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and be free of other toxins. Beyond the physiological health of its employees, however, the municipality is also concerned for their psychological wellbeing. Accordingly, all workspaces and other frequently used areas are adjacent to operable windows that connect visually to the park, while a balcony and designated outdoor sitting area ensure that the connection with nature is not only visual but also physical.

Another Passive House requirement is for durability of materials and assemblies. The materials chosen, including glass fibre reinforced concrete (GRC), and high pressure laminate siding and metal siding which are both resilient and long lasting. The highly energy efficient envelope includes Passive House certified windows within  a rainscreen system that promotes drying of any moisture that gets behind the cladding. Together with the airtight and vapour open construction this ensures there is no unwanted condensation within the wall assembly and extends the life of the envelope components.

In anticipation of changing needs over the life of the building, an area for future physical expansion is included within the existing Passive House envelope. Accommodating future expansion and reconfiguration meant that the size and spacing of the windows had to be carefully considered to accommodate potential changes to the functional layout.

PROJECT CREDITS

  • Owner/Developer  Town of Valleyview
  • Architect  Flechas Architecture Inc.
  • Indicative Design  Kobayashi + Zedda Architects Ltd., ReNu Building Science and Williams Engineering
  • General Contractor  Scott Builders Inc.
  • Landscape Architect  Kinnikinnick Studio Inc.
  • Civil Engineer  HELiX Engineering Ltd.
  • Electrical/Mechanical Engineer  Integral Group
  • Structural Engineer  Laviolette Engineering Ltd.
  • Commissioning Agent  Bair Balancing
  • Energy Modelling  Marken Design+Consult
  • Photos  Flechas Architecture Inc.

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  • The highly energy efficient envelope uses Euroline 4700 Series THERMOPLUS™ PHC Tilt & Turn windows in a rainscreen system that allows drying of any moisture that gets behind the cladding. Tech-Crete CFI® pre-finished exterior insulating wall panels are used on the foundation.
  • The building reuses the footprint of a previous structure, minimizing site disturbance, preserving adjacent community park space and capitalizing on solar orientation. The foundation of Quad-Lock® Insulated Concrete Forms was supplied by Airfoam Insulation products which offers Insulation Boards, Insulated Metal Panels, Geofoam and Void-Fill for wall, roof and below-grade applications. www.airfoam.com
  • The hallway leading to workspaces which have operable windows that connect visually to the park. The project uses a Tempeff North America ERV system with Dual-Core technology to recover both heat and humidity in winter for continuous fresh air supply and a frost-free operation in extremely cold conditions.
  • All interior finishes, paints, adhesives, flooring and composite wood products are specified to contain low amounts of volatile organic compounds. To maintain steady temperatures over all three levels of the building, ventilation specifications included an outdoor variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system by Mitsubishi Electric Heating & Cooling for cooling and heating, and a high-efficiency energy recovery ventilator.
  • Ōko skin extruded concrete slats by Rieder are made up of glassfibre reinforced concrete, 100% non-combustible, available in a range of colours, requires no maintenance and individual elements can be replaced easily.

Living Libations headquarters

Passive House in the realms of human wellbeing and ecological responsibility

By Jim Taggart

Set on a south-facing slope amid the forested hills of Haliburton, Ontario, the design of the new Living Libations Headquarters reflects a corporate philosophy that places the highest value on nature, beauty and being. In building terms, this philosophy naturally led to the choice of a highly durable, low-energy form of construction, with a strong emphasis on indoor environmental quality and attractive common spaces that would have the minimum environmental impact over an extended life cycle. These criteria led in turn to the choice of a Passive House structure.

A manufacturer of organic beauty care products, Living Libations has a staff of 50 who, on completion of this project, now work in a production laboratory building with an exposed heavy timber structure and natural finishes that create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The interior hardwood plywood finish is  bonded with a food-grade soy-based adhesive, rather than urea formaldehyde (UF), which  does not emit toxic air contaminants.

The other program spaces include (on the uppermost floor), a professional kitchen, a south-facing dining room that opens onto a 450m² outdoor terrace, a yoga room with adjoining meditation, and a light therapy solarium which opens onto a large rooftop terrace that has a panoramic view of the surrounding forest and beautiful sunsets.

The design approach was to let the geography of the site shape and locate all built form in order to minimize the ecological impact on the site. Compasses and a solar pathfinder were used to ensure the building was oriented for maximum cold season solar heat gains. The steep south-facing slope made it possible to capture solar heat by locating the majority of windows on the south side while the concrete construction of the ground floor, earth-sheltered by the slope, created a thermal flywheel to modulate diurnal temperature fluctuations.

In combination with an unbroken R50 thermal separation, this strategy perfectly offsets peak heating and cooling demand. Wall and roof system designs were modelled for possible interior dew points in “U-WERT” software that proved the benefit of using a smart air-vapour control layer inside the building. “THERM” software was used to guide the design of thermally efficient structural connections.

The design team optimized the building layout, equipment selection, and operation schedule to minimize energy demand. Six air-to-air heat-pumps easily maintain comfortable conditions through -30C winter nights and +30C summer days. Evacuated solar tubes on the roof provide domestic hot water in the spring, summer, and fall, and even pre-warmed water in winter months. A propane back-up boiler system for make-up heat was required by the authority having jurisdiction, but to date it has not been needed.

Jim Taggart, FRAIC is the editor of SABMag.

PROJECT PERFORMANCE

  • Energy intensity (building and process energy) = 59.7kwhr/m²/year
  • Water consumption from municipal sources = 0 litres/occupant/year
  • Recycled material content by value = 5%
  • Regional materials (800km radius) by value = 54%
  • Construction waste diverted from landfill = 20%
  •  

PRJECT CREDITS

  • OWNER/DEVELOPER: Nadine & Ron Artemis / Living Libations
  • BUILDING DESIGN: G West Building Services in
  • collaboration with Steenhof Building Services Group & CHORNY Associates Architect Inc.
  • PROJECT MANAGEMENT: G West Building Services
  • CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTOR: CDH Carpentry in
  • collaboration with many other trades.
  • LANDSCAPE: Kevin Forbes
  • CIVIL ENGINEER: Greenview Environmental
  • ELECTRICAL AND STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: Steenhof Building Services Group
  • MECHANICAL ENGINEER: Brumar Engineering Services Ltd.
  • PASSIVE HOUSE DESIGN CONSULTANT: Peel Passive House Consulting
  • INTERIOR DESIGN & FURNISHINGS:  Nadine Artemis & Jamie Lee Mason
  • PHOTOS: Greg West., John Lehmann Photography 

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  • Innovative and customizable Boxx panels from Element5 efficiently span long distances between supporting structural members and are well suited for floor and roof applications in multi-storey buildings. The interior hardwood plywood finish is bonded with a food-grade soy-based adhesive, rather than urea formaldehyde, which does not emit toxic air contaminants.
  • Six Tempeff North America RGSP Series Dual-Core energy recovery ventilators recover both heat and humidity in winter allowing for continuous fresh air supply and a frost-free operation in extremely cold conditions without need for preheat or defrost.
  • Six Air-to-Air heat pumps by Mitsubishi Electric Heating & Cooling, which can work efficiently below -25C°, provide cooling and heating.
  • The Katana™ by Moso® bamboo decking is a sustainable, long lasting, class A fire rated natural alternative to other decking products, and very stable in all weather conditions.
  • Aluminum railing profiles by Dekrail are designed for both optimal strength and visual aesthetics.
  • Steenhof Building Services Group was proud to be the prime consultants for all disciplines of Engineering including Mechanical, Electrical & Architectural (Chorny Associates Architects Inc.)
  • All 75 high-performance windows were supplied by ENERsign. 

Bank of Canada Renewal, Ottawa, ON

Existing Building Upgrade Award | Perkins+Will

Jury comments: This major rehabilitation and revitalization project, driven by quantitative issues of obsolete infrastructure, poor energy performance and related carbon impacts, and an outdated working environment, has been addressed with aesthetic sensitivity and restraint. Innovative structural upgrades enabled the restoration of the integrity of this 1970s office tower by Arthur Erickson,  while the 1930s centre building and its immediate surroundings  have been transformed into valuable new public amenities.

Located just west of Parliament Hill in Downtown Ottawa, the Bank of Canada Head Office complex comprises 79,500m² of offices and operation spaces. The original Centre Building was built in the 1930s; the twin office towers and connecting atrium being added in the 1970s. Completed in 2017, this project included the comprehensive renewal of the existing complex, including some reconfigurations and additions to the program.

A new museum invites and educates the community about the Bank’s role in the Canadian economy. The pyramidal glass entrance pavilion and the enhanced public realm that surrounds it form an abstraction of the Canadian landscape and functions as an accessible, multi-faceted public realm throughout the year.

Major drivers for renewal were the performance and infrastructure deficits of the facility, energy upgrades and carbon reductions, and modernization of the workplace. Within the towers, floor plates and waffle slab ceilings were restored to their original open plan concept.

The renovated towers were designed to be modular, allowing for a diverse range of uses so that each contains a combination of private and collaborative spaces.

The Centre Building accommodates both offices and conference facilities, while the atrium provides a variety of social spaces.

The design looked to maintain as much of the existing building infrastructure as possible, to lower both costs and negative environmental impact. Passive design strategies include revealing floorplates, allowing for deeper daylight penetration and greater access to views to the exterior and atrium.

PROJECT CREDITS

  • Client:  Bank of Canada
  • Architecture/Interior Team: Perkins + Will
  • Civil Engineer: Novatech Engineering Consultants
  • Electrical/Mechanical Engineer: BPA Engineering Consultants
  • Structural Engineer:  Adjeleian Allen Rubeli Limited
  • Project Manager:  CBRE Limited/Project Management Canada
  • General Contractor:  PCL Constructors Canada Inc.
  • Landscape Architect:  DTAH
  • Food Service/Commissioning Agent:  WSP
  • Heritage ConsultantEvoq Architecture
  • Building Envelope:  ZEC Consulting
  • Building ScienceCLEB
  • Sustainability Consulting Team:  Perkins + Will
  • Security:  LEA
  • A/V:  Engineering Harmonics
  • Acoustic:  HGC
  • Cost Consultant:  Turner & Townsend
  • Lighting:  Gabriel MacKinnon/Perkins + Will
  • Code & Life Safety:  Morrison Hershfield
  • Photos:  Younes Bounhar

PROJECT PERFORMANCE

  • Energy intensity = 183 kWh/m² /year
  • Energy savings relative to reference building = 44%
  • Water consumption = 4,645L/occupant/year (based on 250 days operation)
  • Water savings relative to reference building = 35%

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