Dedicated to sustainable,
high performance building


Institutional (Small) Award

Mackin Tanaka Architecture

Jury Comment: With the growing concern for the embodied carbon in our built environment, this small building for the Tsawwassen First Nation stands out for its commitment to that cause. In fact, its widespread use of wood and its projected low operating energy demand, may make the building carbon negative for a decade or more. In addition to its low environmental impact, the location next to the Salish Sea and on the Pacific flight path for migratory birds, make it an invaluable teaching tool for Indigenous youth – and for all of us.

This community centre for young people and their families provides spaces for drop-in and scheduled programs and community gatherings. Located on treaty lands south of Vancouver, the waterfront site is part of a unique cultural and ecological area, the meeting place of cultures and ecologies.

The design of the two-storey building bridges tradition and modernity, its narrative unfolding through its form, structure, materials and relationship to site. In this way, it teaches future leaders 4,000 year old lessons about stewardship of the land and sea.

An interactive design process, involving children, teens, leadership, and artists guided the development of the program and the approach to building design. Among the program elements that emerged from this collaborative process were, climbing walls, art and music studios, MMA and weight room areas, a teen lounge and an outdoor oriented activity space for the younger set. TFN citizens of all ages expressed their commitment to maintaining the health of their traditional lands and using environmentally responsible and durable materials and systems for their new building.

This complex hybrid structure is the first in North America to use DLT walls as a significant structural component of the lateral force-resisting system despite the many large openings.

StructureCraft provided design-assist, supply and install of:

  • DLT (dowel laminated timber) perimeter wall panels
  • DLT roof panels (high roof and eyebrows)
  • DLT floor panels at half of second floor
  • Acoustic DLT (NRC 0.7) floor panels at other half of second floor
  • Wood species used was Hemlock
  • Total DLT panel area 26,000sqft

The second floor also contains StructureCraft’s Acoustic DowelLam DLT which provides sound absorption to the space below. The gymnasium on the second floor with a Sportec underlayment 4 mm overlaid with Sportec UNI classic 4mm. Damtec wave 3D 17/8 was installed as a resilient layer (acoustic insulation under screed) over the entire second floor, with 6 mm Damtec estra installed as a de-coupler strip around all wall perimeters, logs, MEP routing etc. Sportec and Damtec supplied by Ideal Fit. 


  • Architect  Mackin Tanaka Architecture
  • Owner / Developer  Tsawwassen First Nation
  • General Contractor  Converge Construction
  • Landscape Architect  Zhiwei Lu
  • Civil Engineer  Webster Engineering Ltd.
  • Electrical/ Mechanical Engineer  MCW Consultants Ltd.
  • Timber construction  Durfeld Log & Timber
  • DLT Supply/install  StructureCraft
  • Photos  Ema Peter and Mitch Creek


  • Energy intensity (building and process energy from hydro-electric sources) = 180 KWhr/m2/year
  • Water consumption from municipal sources = 86,424 litres/occupant/year
  • Reduction in water consumption relative to reference building under LEED v4 = 18%