Radium Hot Springs Community Hall and Library, Radium Hot Springs, BC

Institutional [Small] Award | Urban Arts Architecture

Jury comments: This community project in a small town in the mountains of British Columbia reimagines the meaning of ‘community investment’. With a community-centred procurement focus, the project was designed to optimize the social and economic benefits for those living and working within a 100-mile radius of the site and, as such, creates a new ‘recipe’ based on the locally-available ingredients of materials, technology and craft skills.    

The village of Radium Hot Springs Is located in the mountainous southeast corner of British Columbia. The new Community Hall and Library occupy a prominent corner in the centre of the village, overlooking the Legends Park kettle hole.

Designed as the “100 mile” building, the project maximizes the use of local materials and trades in the Columbia Valley. The project goals were to: support economic sustainability through a unique project process that would maximize the use of local resources, both material and human; demonstrate the use of renewable resources and innovative replicable building systems; and create a building that would respond to the micro-climate of the site.

Critical to the success of the project was an integrative design process that identified local materials, resources and labour, thereby dramatically reducing the life cycle embodied energy and overall carbon footprint of the development. The design process resulted in a building that maximized the use of local wood fibre, utilizing approximately 288 cubic metres of wood products harvested from woodlots within 50 kilometres of the site and processed at the local Canfor mill just one kilometer away.

The structure comprises dowel laminated timber (DLT) panels combined with glulam posts and beams. DLT is a mass timber structural panel constructed of standard dimensional lumber, friction-fit together with hardwood dowels, not requiring the use of nails, screws, or adhesives.

This combination results in a structural system with a high potential for demountability, adaptability and reuse. Much of the material fabrication was carried out locally, including the panels which  were prefabricated off-site in Golden, 60 kilometres north of Radium, and transported to the site in a choreographed sequence to maximize efficiency. The cladding was milled by a local mill and charred in Brisco, eight kilometres from the site.

The building is organized and oriented to maximize passive strategies with a long linear form on the east-west axis, permitting natural daylighting and cross ventilation. Strategically located roof overhangs control solar exposure.

Window locations are carefully calibrated to capture the views of the mountains and connect to the park while maintaining less than 40% window-to-wall ratio for energy efficiency.

PROJECT CREDITS

  • Client:  Village of Radium Hot Springs
  • Architect:  Urban Arts Architecture
  • Civil Engineer:  Core Group Consultants
  • Electrical Engineer:  Applied Engineering Solutions
  • Mechanical Engineering:  Rocky Point Engineering Ltd.
  • Structural Engineer: Equilibrium Canada
  • General Contractor:  Ken Willimont
  • Landscape Architect:  Hapa Collaborative
  • Photos:  Dave Best

PROJECT PERFORMANCE

  • Energy intensity (building and process energy) = 274 KWhr/m²/year
  • Energy intensity reduction relative to reference building = 36%
  • Regional materials (800km radius) by value = 80%

Lighting and acoustic panels are built into the roof panels. Uponor supplied PEX piping for the heating system consisting of air-source heat pumps and high-efficiency Viessmann Vitodens 200-W boilers.

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