Institutional [Large] Award
Jury comments: This project is notable for its planning, with a six-storey atrium that functions not only as a light and ventilation well, but also as a social incubator that reinforces the academic program. The quality and quantity of natural light is extraordinary for a laboratory building of this type, and the energy performance is also exemplary. The project also creates a striking new landmark for the college.
This 14,600m² Science & Technology building creates a striking new gateway into the Langara College campus in south Vancouver, while creating a state-of-the-art home for its various science programs. Science laboratories and classrooms are located on the top three levels, which frame the main driveway with a bold cantilever. The lower levels consolidate essential student services and connect to adjacent lounges, study and meeting spaces.
As an architectural statement, cantilevering the laboratories and classrooms presents student activity as the face of the College, and makes a bold gesture toward the nearby transit station. It also achieves a pragmatic solution for a complex and constricted site, allowing a large program to be accommodated on a limited footprint, which avoids disrupting the adjacent public space, geothermal field and fire route.
Inside and out, the spatial experience is defined by visual and physical interconnectivity designed to draw students together in a collaborative environment. Certified LEED Gold, the cost-effective design achieves exceptional efficiency through the integration of a high-performance envelope, thoughtfully deployed passive lighting and ventilation measures, and innovative locally developed energy management technology.
The façade includes a custom louvre system on the upper floors, designed based on a sun path analysis, choreographing views to the campus and distant mountains, while maximizing useful natural light. On the lower floors a translucent polycarbonate wall-panel system, the UniQuad Translucent Wall System supplied by Kingspan Light + Air | CPI Daylighting, provides diffused lighting to balance glare mitigation and thermal performance. A six-storey lightwell brings light deep into the floorplate [and also facilitates natural stack effect ventilation]. Photocell sensors are installed in occupied perimeter spaces to reduce lighting when sufficient daylight is present.
The mechanical system employs the BC-developed innovative Thermenex energy management system. The Thermenex System goes beyond traditional energy and carbon savings by ensuring no fossil fuels are used for heating at the same time the building is rejecting heat with exhaust, relief air or the cooling tower. The building itself is the main source of heat. The application of “Thermenex in a Box” [TIAB] combined all the major components of the energy transfer in a single unit, manufactured off-site and craned into place in two days. The project received 18/19 energy points and is near net-zero carbon.
Energy intensity [building and process energy] = 138.7kWh/m²/year
Energy intensity reduction relative to reference building under ASHRAE 90.1  = 63%
Potable water consumption from municipal sources = 613.8L/occupant/year
Reduction in potable water consumption relative to reference building = 44.3%
Recycled materials by value = 14.88%
Regional materials [as defined by LEED] by value = 8%
Construction materials diverted from landfill = 90.6%
Owner/Developer Langara College
Architects Teeple Architects Inc.
Associate Architect Proscenium Architecture + Interiors
Structural Engineer Weiler Smith Bower Consulting Structural Engineers
Mechanical engineer AME Group Consulting Professional Engineers
Thermal Energy Specialty TC Thermenex Inc.
Elevator Consultant Gunn Consultant Inc.
Electrical Engineer Applied Engineering Solutions Ltd.
Sustainability Consultant Zon Engineering
Commissioning Agent MMM Group Limited
Code Consultant LMDG Code Consultants Ltd.
Envelope Consultant Read Jones Christoffersen Ltd.
Geotechnical Engineer Geo Pacific Consultants Ltd.
Civil Engineer Aplin Martin Consulting Ltd.
Landscape Architect PFS Studio
Transportation Consultant Bunt & Associates Ltd.
General Contractor Bird Construction
Photos Andrew Latreille
The innovative mechanical system employs the locally developed Thermenex energy management system.
Exterior sunshades and cladding supplied by Engineered Assemblies.
The UniQuad Translucent Wall System supplied by Kingspan Light + Air | CPI Daylighting.