Vancouver House Building 4
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Vance Harris of DIALOG Architects and Jacqueline Che of Westbank
Vancouver House Building 4
This building is one of four unique buildings located on the overall Vancouver House project site. Podium 1 is a is a mix of commercial and rental residential, Tower 2 is an all market residential building, Buildings 3 and 4 are commercial buildings. The Vancouver House tower and overall development is a landmark development for both its unique location and its unique design in response to site conditions.
Vancouver House building 4 is a 6-storey 54,000 square foot commercial building located next to the Granville street bridge in Vancouver, BC. The project consists of office, retail, and institutional spaces.
Soil remediation – removal of previous soil contamination was conducted. The site contained repair and service stations, parking lots and automotive manufacturing that left residues in the soil This was cleaned up prior to construction.
The project is in a highly dense location right next to the Granville Street bridge which is a key connection between Vancouver Downtown and Mainland. This development on an existing site within the existing urban fabric, creates:
● many connections to public transit including light rail, bus and commuter ferry
● an established community with extensive services within walking distance
● Extensive bike lane connectivity and proximity to bike share stations
● Bike repair spaces for residents
● Active transportation (walking, biking) =healthier occupants, lower carbon emissions
Dedicated Pedestrian Bridge Connectivity
The building features a dedicated bridge from the building upper courtyard on Level 5 directly to the deck of the Granville street bridge. There is also a dedicated elevator to bring folks crossing from the bridge into the courtyard down to grade level, allowing flow-through foot and cycle traffic.
Over 20% of the total site area is vegetated with native or adaptive vegetation. Native/adaptive plants are plants that either are part of local natural ecosystems or are from further away but still suited to local climate conditions. This assures vegetation can survive with less irrigation, pesticides and fertilizer relative to non-native/adaptive varieties.
The use of native and adapted plants as well as careful design allows the site to use over 50% less irrigation water compared to a baseline building
Landscaping on the Rooftops
Soft landscaping was placed on the roof of this project instead of at the ground plane due to the shading of the adjacent bridge. The ground plane is shaded from direct sunlight for a significant portion of the day, thus reducing the capacity to grow and maintain healthy vegetation. Relocation of vegetation to the roof allows the project to take advantage of the rainwater-detaining properties of vegetated surfaces by moving those surfaces to a higher location where they have solar access.
Energy and Carbon Emissions
Add curtain wall and metal panel information
The building has a high performance envelope including heavy lift and slide balcony doors that also provide air tightness. This high level of air tightness keeps filtered conditioned interior air separate from outdoor air and saves energy, in addition to acoustic and thermal comfort benefits.
Effective glazing U-value of 0.25 (a measure of resistance to heat transfer). This is considered to be a high performing glazing system.
District Energy Connection
The building is connected to a district heating and cooling system that will be converted to low carbon energy in the future, which will deliver further operational carbon emissions reductions.
See https://creative.energy/ for more information on the district energy system
75% of construction waste was diverted from landfills via recycling.
Lower embodied carbon materials
20% of the materials in the project by cost were recycled. Cement in concrete was replaced with waste fly ash from the metallurgical and power production industries, recycled scrap was used in the structural steel, and drywall made with recycled gypsum from demolition and scrap drywall. This reduces the embodied carbon in the building, ie. The carbon emitted in order to build it.
Over 20% by cost of the project materials were locally harvested and manufactured, reducing transportation related emissions.
Indoor Environmental Quality
Indoor Air Quality
The highly air-tight building envelope keeps polluted air from infiltrating into the building in an uncontrolled manner while the ventilation system provides fresh filtered air. This air tightness -filtration combination is important on sites such as these, where buildings are adjacent to highly busy roadways and their associated air pollution
All the interior paints, coatings, adhesive and sealants in common spaces and lobby areas are selected to be low emitting.
High performance windows are more comfortable to be close to when it’s cold outside, and greatly reduce overall heat loss.
The heavy lift and slide doors and high performance triple pane windows (at or above the bridge deck level) block much of the outside noise
Daylighting & Views
Generous amounts of glazing bring in plentiful daylight and connection to the outdoors. The triple-pane, air sealed windows allow excellent daylight access to occupants, views of the spectacular bridge and surrounding city, while keeping out unwanted noise and pollution from the bridge.