CEI Architecture presents Innovative Technology & Building Design


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Surrey Memorial Hospital achieves LEED Gold certification

The final phase of the state-of-the-art healthcare facility opened in June 2014, featuring the latest in environmental sustainability and evidence-based healthcare design.

SM-576The design of the new facility incorporates significant sustainable design features to deliver energy efficiency while providing a healthy and comfortable environment for patients, staff and visitors. The architects for the project were CEI Architecture and Parkin Architects in joint venture.

“Sustainable design goes hand-in-hand with healthcare design,” says Bill Locking, senior partner with CEI Architecture and partner in charge on the project. “Elements such as indoor air quality, natural daylighting, and using wood and other natural materials help keep the environmental footprint low while having a positive impact on patient health outcomes.”

The new facility, an eight-storey addition to the existing Surrey Memorial Hospital campus, opened recently in two phases. Phase one, a new Emergency Department and Pediatric Emergency, opened in October 2013, and phase two, the remaining floors of the Critical Care Tower, opened in June 2014.

“This LEED Gold certification reflects the considerable energy efficiency and sustainable features that went into the building,” Locking adds. “At CEI Architecture we believe strongly in the importance of sustainable design to contribute to healthy communities.”

CEI and Parkin worked with an integrated design and construction team led by EllisDon, with MMM Group and Bush, Bohlman & Partners as engineers.

View the project page here.



Love + Hope: Supporting a worthwhile cause

This holiday season, CEI Architecture is proud to support Covenant House Vancouver in their mission to provide love and hope to Vancouver’s street youth. Each December, as part of their Christmas Backpack program, Covenant House Vancouver hands out backpacks filled with new clothing, toiletries and small gifts to 275 at-risk youth.

CEI staff have assembled four backpacks that will be given out during the organization’s Annual Christmas Party taking place this week.


Covenant House Vancouver helps youth aged 16 to 24, who have often fled physical, emotional, and/or sexual abuse, have been forced from their homes, or have aged out of foster care. The charity provides food, shelter, clothing, and counselling services to over 1,500 homeless and runaway youth annually.

If you would like to learn more about Covenant House Vancouver, and how you can support the city’s homeless youth, please click here.



CEI joins Canada BIM Council


CEI is proud to announce that they are now members of the Canada BIM Council (CanBIM). CanBIM serves the entire construction industry, education community and owners who are working collectively with Building Information Modeling (BIM) technologies and practices. CEI has been using BIM technology as a component of their practice for a number of years and sees this as a beneficial tool for its clients—to visualize design decisions and minimize conflicts during the construction process.

Scott Chatterton-2014-croppedCEI’s BIM and Quality Control Manager, Scott Chatterton, is an active member of the CanBIM Board of Directors and is a leader in BIM education.

As members of CanBIM, CEI are able to continue with their vision to make a difference—by delivering exceptional buildings that contribute to the quality of the communities in which they work.




CEI shortlisted for ice arena in Germany

CEI’s Vancouver Partner, Mark Hentze, along with Conrad Boychuk, traveled to Germany today for an interview as a shortlisted team in the pursuit of a 3,700-seat, II Bundesliga (division II), ice arena in Kaufbeuren—one hour southwest of Munich. Mark was invited to join schneider+schumacher, an architecture firm out of Frankfurt, Germany, as an expert in ice arenas.

Mark and Conrad in Germany

Mark is a partner with CEI Architecture, and director of our Recreation, Culture and Community sector. He has a broad range of experience leading recreation projects across Canada, including spectator venues, community centres, arenas, aquatics and sports complexes. Mark is a former professional hockey player who brings his passion for sports and community recreation to his work, from design charrette though concept development, public consultation and completion. He leads a design team that is passionate about sport and recreation design.




Making a Difference in Burns Lake

Image via Northern Health.

Image via Northern Health.

Northern BC residents can expect the opening of their brand new hospital, currently under construction in Burns Lake, five months earlier than expected! The achievement is a direct result of the hard work of the design and construction team, led by CEI Architecture and PCL Constructors Westcoast Inc.  

The $55 million Design-Build project will see the replacement of an aging facility with a new 16-bed hospital, providing acute care, emergency services, and diagnostic imaging. The facility will also include a medical clinic that will provide mental health, addiction, and community care services.

The project required an aggressive schedule from the outset, as it was necessary to commence construction of the building envelope components prior to the winter months.

CEI Architecture is an advocate for collaborative design processes where the combined efforts of our team members translate into success for our clients. PCL and our design team established a fast-track schedule that saw construction begin prior to Construction Documents being completed. Effective coordination between disciplines, and the careful planning of details, helped achieve schedule efficiencies that have resulted in the project being five months ahead of schedule.

“The pace of construction on this project has been aggressive,” says CEI’s Daniela Zezulka, a Senior Architectural Technologist in the firm and a senior team member on the project. “It is important that all parties work well together, consultants and contractors alike. PCL is a highly organized company with talented staff who care about the work they are doing. We are happy to be working with them on this exciting project for a deserving community.”

Substantial completion of the building is expected by December 2014. To learn more about the project, please visit our project page.



Virtual Reality and its impact on Design

AR 2It’s still early days, but virtual reality technology is already having an impact on the design and construction industries. Being able to tour a design virtually immersed in the building has great benefits for both the client and the designer. Clients are able to better understand the space and design far easier than they could from plans and elevation drawings. By using VR technology to tour both the exterior and interior of a building, people are able to fully understand the design from their virtual point of view.

Recently here at CEI, we received a developer’s kit from IrisVR that includes an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. IrisVR is a new company developing software that will offer full native support for many common 3D file types including SketchUp, Revit, Blender, 3ds Max, ArchiCAD, and IFC.

We are already using this technology to show clients for design validation. It’s a great opportunity for us to get instant feedback on the design and workability. By allowing our clients to tour the space virtually it allows us to validate the design concepts and use this tool to explain the aspects of one design over another. Virtual reality is yet another technology that can take advantage of the building information modeling process that CEI has fully embraced, allowing us to yet again take the process of architectural design to the next level.




SOSS wins SICA awards

Left: Andrew MacPhail, CEI Architecture Center: Mitch Van Aller, Former Facilities Manager, School District No. 53 Right: Mike Symonds, Project Manager, Greyback Construction

Left: Andrew MacPhail, CEI Architecture
Center: Mitch Van Aller, Former Facilities Manager, School District No. 53
Right: Mike Symonds, Project Manager, Greyback Construction


As a proud member of the Okanagan community, we couldn’t be more pleased to have recently been honoured with two awards at the annual Southern Interior Construction Association’s (SICA) Commercial Building Awards that took place Thursday, October 23. Southern Okanagan Secondary School, completed by CEI in collaboration with KMBR Architects, received the Excellence Award in the Community/Institutional Category and was also named the Judges’ Choice Overall Winner.

Completed in February of this year, the expansion and renovation to the existing secondary school included a gymnasium, multi-purpose student common spaces, science lab, classrooms, and the creation of a new Performing Arts Theatre.

Southern Okanagan Secondary School joins a list of other CEI projects that have received SICA awards including Mica Heli Ski Lodge (2013 Hospitality Award of Excellence) and the Black Hills Estate Wine Experience Centre (2013 Merit Award-Wine Industry), among others.





Mark Hentze joins panel at upcoming AIBC Conference

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CEI Partner Mark Hentze will share his insights on the architectural evolution of sport and recreation centres at the upcoming Annual AIBC Conference: Shifting Perspectives.

As Director of CEI’s Recreation, Culture, and Community sector, Mark has a broad range of experience leading recreation projects across Canada. The panel will explore the challenges and opportunities of modern community facilities, where Mark will share lessons learned from a career devoted to the recreation sector and recent CEI projects.

The panel, entitled “Building Community Through Architecture” will be taking place Friday, October 10 at 8:30 a.m. To learn more about the event, or register for sessions, please visit the AIBC Conference website here.



Nick Bevanda to speak at AIBC Conference


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CEI Partner and Design Leader Nick Bevanda will be speaking at the AIBC 2014 Annual Conference on Friday, October 10 at 1:30 p.m.

Nick will share his experience working in architecture—including starting out in a small town in the Okanagan, opening his own practice where he was honoured for his award-winning design at Black Hills Estate Winery, and later joining CEI Architecture. Nick will also share his insights on future trends in architecture.

To learn more about the conference, and to register for Nick’s session “Imagining the Future,” please visit the AIBC Conference website here.