BC Cancer Centre for the North awarded LEED Gold
The BC Cancer Agency Centre for the North has been awarded LEED Gold status by the Canada Green Building Council. The facility, located in Prince George BC, was completed in September 2012, designed and built using the public-private partnership (“P3”) delivery method. CEI Architecture led the design of the project, working with PCL Constructors and Plenary Health.
The project was designed to the climatic demands of its location in Prince George, BC, a community in central British Columbia and an 800 km drive north of Vancouver. The city has a fairly wide temperature swing: from average lows of twelve degrees below zero in January to average highs of over 20 degrees Celsius in July. The Cancer Centre had to be designed to accommodate this dynamic climate using an energy efficient and environmentally respectful approach that reflects the facility’s mandate to improve the health of the region.
The Centre for the North was acknowledged for “exemplary performance” in regional material sourcing; 38% of building materials (by cost) came from sources nearby.
Its other sustainable features are numerous.
The Centre for the North was built using 655,000 board feet of wood, reflecting the importance of the material to the region and wood’s lower carbon footprint compared to other building materials. Over 50% of the wood-based products used in the building are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, which includes interior finishes, exterior siding, and structural wood columns and beams.
Energy-efficient lighting is used inside and outside, and high-performance windows control the energy needed to heat and cool the building. Occupancy and daylight sensors turn off the lights automatically in areas that are not being used or that have sufficient daylight from neighbouring windows.
An outdoor healing garden is located at the ground floor. The garden has space to sit and relax and also offers a covered smudging pavilion for patient and family use. The vegetation is native to its region, and many of the plants were selected by First Nations traditional healers from the region for their healing characteristics.
The design included a rooftop garden and a white, reflective roof on portions of the top of the mechanical room. Both roof elements reflect sunlight and reduce the amount of energy needed to cool the building in the summer. The rooftop garden is made up of local plants and provides several other benefits to the building including capturing rainwater, providing insulation, and offering staff and visitors a nice place to relax while enjoying the views.