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Site & Building Design

A unique building is required to effectively meet the needs of the children, youth, and the families and caregivers who will use the new centre.

21st Ave Closeup_web.jpg

This image is a conceptual interpretation of the proposed centre for children and youth living with health complexity, and the final design may differ.

The development will include:

  • a new centre for children and youth living with health complexity
  • a 74-space daycare in a stand-alone building, run by a third-party licensed childcare operator
  • landscape design

A high-level design for the site was developed for the business plan and the rezoning application for the City of Vancouver. The design will now undergo further development in the next phase of the project.

If you would like to be involved in the public engagement process during the next design phase, please visit the Engagement page for details.

Project highlights

The building design will be based on these principles, which are aligned with the services that the centre will offer:

  • A home-like space for wellness and learning: Create a home-like, non-institutional environment that is trauma-informed and emphasizes wellness for all. 
  • Community connection: Acknowledge the scale and character of the surrounding neighbourhood. 
  • Welcoming and culturally safe: Create a space that is welcoming and culturally safe for Indigenous children and families/caregivers and those who have previously experienced racism or marginalization.
  • Integration of landscape and nature: Visually and/or physically connect to the landscape through the use of natural materials and by increasing accessibility to outdoor spaces. 
  • Adaptability: Design a centre that is flexible to changing service needs. 
  • Environmental stewardship: Minimize the ecological impact of the centre while maximizing resiliency to climate events. 
  • Virtually connected to all of BC and Yukon: Design for virtual connectivity throughout the building to establish the centre and its services as a provincial resource.
  • Emphasize calm and comfort: Include and integrate purposeful art and design elements throughout the building and site to create a calm, comforting, and healing environment. 
Sustainable design measures
The project incorporates a holistic set of sustainable design measures. These include green mobility and transportation opportunities, water efficiency, energy efficiency, carbon emissions reductions, healthy and sustainable building materials, waste reduction, and a focus on indoor environmental quality.

LEED Gold for the new centre
The design of the new centre aims to achieve at minimum LEED Gold certification, and is assessing options to further reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.

Landscape design
The landscape design and site planning will also promote sustainability and wellness. Low-water plantings and an efficient irrigation system will significantly reduce potable water needs for irrigation. Minimizing dark hardscape such as at-grade parking, along with a cool roof will support heat island reduction.

Mass timber
A hybrid mass timber construction is proposed for the new centre, with all below-grade structural elements constructed using non-combustible cast concrete, and all structural elements above the floor of level 2 constructed with encapsulated mass timber. Mass timber is a low-carbon building solution that employs engineered wood products typically made of large, solid wood panels, columns, or beams.

Passive House Standard for the daycare
The daycare will be designed to the Passive House Standard. In a Passive House building, maximum energy efficiency is achieved through the combination of a well-insulated and tightly sealed building envelope and a high-efficiency heat recovery ventilation system.
 

Main access from Slocan Street

The main entrance to the centre will be from Slocan Street. A wide drop-off area will accommodate families arriving in larger vehicles carrying mobility devices such as wheelchairs.


Separate entrances for loading, deliveries, and daycare

The new centre design separates the various traffic streams. Service vehicles will use the Kaslo Street entrance, while patients and families will use the main entrance off Slocan Street. The daycare pick-up and drop-off will be from the lane in the north-west corner of the site.


Parking moved underground

There will be an underground parking lot at the new centre for patients, families, staff, and visitors. The lot includes an increase in the number of accessible stalls to serve the needs of patients and families. Some surface parking will also be retained on the Kaslo side of the site.


Cycling and transit options

Excellent transit and cycling networks in the area will make it possible for staff and visitors to choose sustainable transportation options. The site is close to Renfrew and Nanaimo Skytrain stations, and serviced by multiple bus routes. The Slocan Street bikeway connects to the protected Central Valley Greenway, which provides
cycling facilities to downtown. Eighteen bicycle spaces are proposed for the new centre, as well as bike storage facilities and showers.
 

Access to green space

The site design respects the mature grove of trees to the north of the proposed building, which is widely used and valued by local residents. The compact footprint of the proposed centre also opens up additional green space on the south-east corner of the site, at Kaslo Street and 21st Avenue.


Wellness path and healing loop

The proposed landscape design includes two main pathways for patients, families, and the community: a wellness path and a healing loop. Path elements may include outdoor play areas, seating, and accessible pathways. 
 

SOURCE: Site & Building Design ( )
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