City of Vancouver National Works Yard

The new City of Vancouver National Works Yard is a 12-acre Engineering Operations Facility with a technically complex program including an Administration Centre, Garage and Radio Shop, Parking Operations Building, Warehouses, Car Wash and Fuelling Station. The project is the City of Vancouver’s pilot initiative to promote sustainable design practices. The City’s leadership and level of commitment to these sustainable principles is reflected in the design expertise employed and the application of sound environmental building practices, which culminated in the facility’s Administration and Parking Operations buildings achieving LEEDâ„¢ Gold – the first buildings in Canada to receive this level of certification from the Canada Green Building Council. The project is also a test case for various sustainable technologies and a showcase for the City’s many “green” initiatives. The Works Yard incorporates the operations of eight engineering branches, along with associated support for the facility. Approximately 400 employees will be based out of the new yard, and it will have the capacity to accommodate growth of operations over the next 10 to 20 years. Omicron provided architecture, engineering, project and construction management services to the City for this new $22 million facility which is located on National Avenue in the False Creek flats industrial zone.
from: Omicrondocument: City of Vancouver National Avenue Works Yard 04in detail XlnkS5F7 XlnkC18C8


Gleneagles Community Centre, located in West Vancouver, British Columbia – Canada, is a prime example of Earth Tech’s sustainable design capabilities. Earth Tech’s close cooperation with the Architect and the rest of the design team resulted in an unparalleled synergy between the building and the mechanical system. The innovative design for this 23,000 sq. ft. recreational facility integrates all building components to foster energy-efficiency and environmental sustainability, while creating a comfortable environment for users of the facility. This is the first system of its kind in North America.
from: Earth Techdocument: Gleneaglesin detail XlnkS5F8 XlnkC1792

Koo’s Corner

Koo’s Corner takes its name from the automotive service garage first built on the site. It is a high density urban infill project. The project involved an extensive renovation of the former garage into 2 loft units and the addition of 4 townhouse-style units on the former parking lot to the south. The intention behind the project was to create as sustainable a project as possible while working within the budget limits of a market housing project. Particular focus was on energy including: future-proofing the building to facilitate the adoption of solar technologies at a later date, the use of heat recovery in both ventilation and shower greywater. Particular attention was paid to materials selection to ensure excellent indoor air quality and low embodied energy. A further aim was to provide affordable housing in an urban setting, that responded to its context.
from: reSource Rethinking Building Inc.document: Koo’s Cornerin detail XlnkS5EE XlnkC18C2

Cedar Hill Community Centre

The new wing of Cedar Hill Community Centre is to be built in accord with the Centre’s goals of promoting health and wellbeing. High indoor air and environmental quality is a priority and will be achieved using low emitting materials, natural ventilation and generous views of the outdoor surroundings. With the North facing glazing and operable windows the new fitness areas, pottery and art studios will forgo the usual requirements of having air conditioning. The use of natural light and reduction of mechanical equipment will result in an energy efficient facility, lowering both initial and operating costs, and the introduction of bioswales and permeable paver parking area will enhance the landscaping of this community centre, already located in an idyllic natural setting.
from: CEI – Architecture and Planningdocument: Cedar Hillin detail XlnkS5EF XlnkC1805

Surrey Transfer Station

A key component of the GVRD’s Solid Waste Management Plan, the Surrey Transfer Station has been sited with construction scheduled for completion by early 2004. The design-build contract is the responsibility of Wastech Services Ltd., one of the GVRD’s primary solid waste operations contractors. In keeping with the GVRD’s Sustainable Region Initiative and Board policy to use Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) as a discretionary framework for all new facilities, the Surrey Transfer Station will be designed and constructed employing the LEED Green Building Rating System for guidance and potential certification. When completed, the Surrey Transfer Station is anticipated to be one of the first industrial buildings in Canada to be LEED certified. This energy efficient facility will incorporate natural light and high-recycled content while minimizing construction waste and water use. The innovative design addresses not only the sustainability of the building but also of the site itself, with native and drought resistant plants thereby eliminating the use of irrigation, and the diversion of storm water through a bioswale to eradicate pollutants in the municipal system.
from: CEI – Architecture and Planningdocument: Surrey Transfer Stationin detail XlnkS5F0 XlnkC1805

Seabird Island Sustainable Community Demonstration Project

This project introduces new envrironmentally responsive, healthy and energy efficient construction methods and products to first nations, residential builders and communities across Canada. The homes are designed to benifit from solar, wind and earth energy.
from: Broadway Architectsdocument: Seabird Islandin detail XlnkS5F1 XlnkC18C3

SEE Gen Burnaby Incinerator

Sustainability 2003 Award Winner The tall red and white striped exhaust stack of the GVRD’s Waste-to-Energy Facility (WTEF) in Burnaby is a new flag of sustainability in the GVRD. Built in 1988 to handle over 20% of the region’s solid waste, the facility now generates electricity as well. Over 250,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste are handled at the WTEF each year utilizing three separate processing lines. Built to meet the highest standards of environmental sustainability, it was only the second facility of its kind in North America to qualify for the rigorous ISO 14001 environmental standard. Historically steam from the waste-to-energy facility has been sold to the nearby Norampac paper recycling mill. However, not all of the steam could be utilized by the mill. The plant operators, Montenay Inc., and GVRD engineers saw the excess steam as an opportunity to make the plant more sustainable. They found that generating electricity from the steam and selling the power to BC Hydro provided social, economic and environmental benefits. – Producing electricity from garbage created four new full-time jobs, creating positive social impacts. – Selling the electricity to BC Hydro will generate gross revenues of $5-6 million a year for the GVRD, an economic benefit for the region’s residents. – Reducing the need to generate power elsewhere creates a positive environmental impact. In fact, if BC Hydro had to generate the same power at its Burrard Thermal gas-fired generating station, it would produce 59,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases. Because the project meets social, economic and environmental tests, engineers took the initial letters of the three sustainability tests and called it the SEE-Gen project. Work on the project started in late 2001, using the best available technology. For example, low-noise designs prevent disturbance to wildlife and the surrounding community and an air-cooled condenser reduces the need for cooling water. The SEE-Gen project commenced commercial operation in July 2003. The SEE-Gen project will produce 15 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 15,000 homes. Project engineers are still looking for more savings including ways to generate additional steam and a proposal to sell residual heat from the turbogenerator to a nearby industrial development.
from: GVRDdocument: SEE Gen Burnaby Incineratorin detailsee also: GVRD Sustainable Region Initiative XlnkS5E8 XlnkC179D

Vancouver Island Technology Park

Deemed a showplace for environmentally sensitive development and sustainable green buildings, the Vancouver Island Technology Park (VITP) offers universities, technology and research companies an ideal place to bridge initiatives. VITP focused on the renovation of an existing 165,000 square foot hospital building. The BC Buildings Corporation is using VITP as a case study for their work in developing the LEED certification for broader use in British Columbia. Educational materials and tours have been developed to educate the community about VITP’s specific green attributes.
from: Keen Engineeringdocument: Vancouver Island Technology Parkin detail XlnkS5E9 XlnkC17A6


IslandWood (formerly the Puget Sound Environmental Learning Centre is located on 250 acres on the South end of Bainbridge Island. The site offers a great variety of ecosystems for educational opportunities including a pond, stream, and wetlands. The educational core of the centre includes an interpretative centre, learning studios, dining area and kitchen, administrative offices, arts studio and maintenance building. The challenge for Keen’s design team was to provide systems that would meet the comfort, health and safety expectations of staff and students while integrating maximum green engineering features. This project earned a Gold rating in the LEED Version 2.0 building process.
from: Keen Engineeringdocument: Islandwoodin detail XlnkS5EA XlnkC17A6

Cloverdale Sanitary Sewer Overflow Storage Facility

Sustainability 2003 Award Winner As part of the Liquid Waste Management Plan, the GVRD is working to further reduce discharges of sanitary sewage to the environment. To manage sanitary sewer overflows in Cloverdale, the GVRD has designed a unique storage system that will automatically divert overflows to a 6700 cubic metre concrete storage tank, hold the flow until the storm has passed, and then return the flow to the wastewater conveyance system. When it is completed in mid-2004, the system will protect human health and avoid potential environmental damage to the surrounding farm land. The design also incorporates green building features and energy-efficient operations. For example, designers were able to use gravity for most of the drainage, saving pumping energy. An innovative flushing system uses a small amount of retained wastewater to avoid pumping in fresh water for tank cleaning. Automated controls connected to the GVRD’s control center in Burnaby will monitor and control the process, reducing the need for operators to travel to the site. Natural and wetland grasses provide landscaping and reduce surface runoff. Contractors will reuse excavated soils to reduce hauling and the need for imported fill. The tank also uses EcoSmart concrete, which utilizes flyash from coal fired power plants and reduces carbon dioxide emissions from concrete manufacturing. In addition, the facility will provide social benefits to the community. For example, the project team was able to design a permanent solution to long-standing concerns of neighbouring farmers about access to fields near the site by designing a utility road that farmers can use for their equipment. Consultation and planning ensure the GVRD’s designers create sustainable developments that reflect social, economic and environmental values.
from: GVRDdocument: Cloverdale Sewer Overflow Storage Facilityin detailsee also: GVRD Sustainable Region Initiative XlnkS5EB XlnkC179D