CHARTER TELECOM HEADQUARTERS, Victoria, BC

Waymark Architecture – Commercial/Industrial [Small] Award

Jury: An unusual solution born from the creative response to site constraints, and a practical approach to a Passive House project that was a first-time challenge for all concerned. Covered at-grade parking has the potential to be used for future expansion of the building, or enhanced green space. The wall assembly and construction sequence were carefully considered so that the project could be competitively bid to local contractors. Exposed mass timber makes for an inviting interior.

This three-storey office building, located in Greater Victoria, aims to be the first commercial office in North America to achieve Passive House Certification. It is also ambitious in its use of locally-sourced engineered mass timber. Most importantly, this project has demonstrated that the Passive House standard can provide value to private commercial building owners without incentives or subsidies. The primary motivation for the owner was not sustainability, but rather that of creating a quality working environment for staff. Also, he realized that investing up-front could achieve lower operating, maintenance and life cycle costs.

This three-storey office building, located in Greater Victoria, aims to be the first commercial office in North America to achieve Passive House Certification. It is also ambitious in its use of locally-sourced engineered mass timber.

Most importantly, this project has demonstrated that the Passive House standard can provide value to private commercial building owners without incentives or subsidies. The primary motivation for the owner was not sustainability, but rather that of creating a quality working environment for staff. Also, he realized that investing up-front could achieve lower operating, maintenance and life cycle costs

Overall, the typology and scale of this project sets it apart from other Passive House projects in the region, encouraging the expansion of this approach beyond the residential sector. The project demonstrates that massive improvement in energy performance is achievable in a commercial office building, even on a challenging site, with builders who lacked experience in high performance buildings.

  • Project Performance
  • Heating Demand  11 kWh/m²a
  • Cooling and dehumidification Demand  11 kWh/a
  • Primary Energy  117 kWh/a
  • Primary Energy Renewable (PER)  52 kWh/m2a
  • Air leakage  0.6 ACH50 (Design)

Excluding the ground floor, elevator and exit stairs from the Passive House envelope  reduced the heated floor area, improved the form factor, and avoided thermal bridging and air tightness challenges. Zehnder supplied its ComfoAir 350 HRV.

  • Project Credits
  • Owner/Developer  Charter Telecom
  • Architect  Waymark Architecture
  • General Contractor  Road’s End Contracting
  • Landscape Architect  Small & Rossell Landscape Architect
  • Civil Engineer  Westbrook Consulting
  • Mech./Elec. Engineer  Integral Group Consulting
  • Structural Engineer  Blackwell Structural Engineers
  • Energy Modelling  Bernhardt Contracting Ltd.
  • Photos  Leanna Rathkelly

SUBSCRIBE TO THE DIGITAL OR PRINT ISSUE OF SABMAGAZINE FOR THE FULL VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE.