Alexandra District Energy Utility (ADEU), operated by Lulu Island Energy Company, uses geothermal technology to provide clean, efficient energy for heating and cooling. ADEU extracts thermal energy (heat) from the ground to supply customers with heat for their homes or businesses. During the summer, the energy flow is reversed, and heat is pumped into the ground to cool homes.
The building is integral to the City of Richmond’s strategy for an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions associated with energy use by 2050 and to reduce reliance on non-renewable sources of energy. The City is also committed to using local, low-carbon wood products in facilities operating on behalf of the municipality. So, when ADEU needed to expand its operations, it made sense to use wood in their new facility.
Glulam columns and beams frame the structure while CLT was used for wall and roof panels. Both arrived at the jobsite fully fabricated, allowing the structure to be built in only five days. The extra load required for the green roof was easily addressed by the wood structure without compromising the required clear spans or interior clear height of the building.
Both glulam and CLT provided efficiency in terms of structural and seismic capabilities. CLT wall panels were easily cut into the triangular and trapezoidal profiles that gave shape to the varying height clearances required inside. The CLT roof extends beyond the walls of the building to create a prominent southern façade facing the park; the overhang also provides a large sheltered exterior space for community events. Inside, the CLT was left exposed, providing an aesthetically warm interior along with the flexible configuration needed to lay out the complex cabling and piping.
“It’s an entirely wood structure, which is great for this kind of building. On the inside, we kept the CLT exposed as much as we could. It creates an interesting contrast with the machines, the shiny metal finish and the white plastic pipes, in contrast to the warm CLT wood and glulam.”
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Learn about the latest wood design and construction trends within these four building applications while earning Architectural Institute of British Columbia (AIBC) recognized continuing learning units towards professional development.
With its wide-ranging use of different wood species, the Prince George Airport demonstrates how a high-traffic building can benefit from the resilience, versatility, durability, and thermal characteristics of wood. These were important considerations for this northern city, situated at the confluence of the Fraser and Nechako Rivers, which is prone to cold, harsh winters.
An effective insulator with a warm aesthetic, wood is particularly well suited to the demanding atmospheres of swimming pools — as well as ice rinks in arenas. Wood tolerates high levels of humidity, offers acoustic and thermal benefits, and absorbs and releases water vapour without compromising its structural integrity. Indoor pool design has evolved to include ample use of natural light and bold, innovative uses of B.C. wood from sustainably managed forests.
Interview with Darryl Condon, Managing Principal of HCMA Architecture + Design, who has embraced and often pioneered the use of wood and mass timber in community, civic, and recreational aquatic facilities throughout British Columbia and Canada. He shares why wood is often an integral material in the buildings they design, and how they’ve pushed the boundaries of what is possible with wood.
Located in John Hendry Park in east Vancouver, this ice rink was the first phase in the replacement of an aging community centre facility. The rink served as a practice facility for competitors who participated in the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and opened for public use after the Games.
Four case studies and architectural drawings that provide solutions to common issues in mass-timber building design are now available.