Posts Tagged ‘Sustainable’



980 Howe open for business in downtown Vancouver

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The new Manulife Office Tower in downtown Vancouver at 980 Howe had its grand opening just a few weeks ago.

Designed by HDR | CEI Architecture Associates and Endall Elliot Associates, the highly sustainable 16-storey building is a model of clean, contemporary office design. The facility provides 245,000 square feet of leasable office space in downtown Vancouver.

Elegant contemporary design
“The client challenged us to create an all-glass curtain wall building,” said Alan Endall, architect and principal with Endall Elliot Associates.

The design team wasn’t sure that was possible at first, as an all-glass curtain wall structure would have a hard time achieving the energy efficiency standards required for the project, which is targeting LEED Gold.

“The team responded with an all-glass design that incorporates innovative features to reduce solar heat gain and ensure energy efficiency, while preserving transparency and a sense of openness,” said John Scott, Vice President of HDR | CEI.

A limited material palette and a subtle layering of light colours and textures helps the building achieve a simple, almost minimalist expression that contrasts with the more heavily articulated and solid buildings in the neighbourhood.

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Sustainable features abound
The design uses a triple-glazed curtain wall throughout the structure. Triple-glazing—essentially three panes of glass separated by argon gas—offers better insulation than the more common double-glazing. It also provides additional surfaces for low-e coating, which prevents interior heat loss and mitigates solar heat gain.

To address how light and shadow affect the building, the design team studied the position of the sun at different times of the day and during each season. This led to the use of ceramic frit patterns—ceramic baked onto the glass—with subtle variations in glass colour and patterning on the four orientations of the building to address the different amount of sun and shadow that each frontage gets.

The design team used a highly transparent low-iron glass on lower floors of the Howe Street facade, since that face tends to be in the shade and solar gain is not as much of an issue.

“It was another way that we were able to vary the appearance of the all-glass building along that frontage,” noted Endall.

Continuing the minimalist theme, interior finishes are kept simple, with white marble on columns and walls, granite paving, and wood introduced in the ceiling to help create warmth in the lobby.

“The entrance lobby is an important aspect of the interiors,” said Scott. “We introduced a double-height linear entry lobby with low-iron glass and structural glazing along the street to facilitate transparency.”

Building amenities include a fitness centre and a common meeting room on the penthouse level.

Additional sustainable features include:

  • A combination of high performance building envelope, high efficiency mechanical systems, heat recovery and lighting technologies limit energy use.
  • End-of-trip cycling facilities with ample covered bike parking, showers and change rooms
  • Preferred parking and charging stations for electric vehicles.
  • Landscaping strategies with rain gardens, boulevard structural soil trenches providing a reservoir to support shade trees, public education, and art celebrating water management.
  • Plantings featuring native species and hardy west coast plants to minimize maintenance and pest management.
  • The project mitigates the “heat island” effect by placing parking underground, incorporating street trees and plantings to help cool building surfaces, and using light-coloured landscape materials, both at the ground plane and roof level.

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Surrey Memorial Hospital Critical Care Tower Emergency set to open

The emergency department at the Surrey Memorial Hospital Critical Care Tower, designed by CEI Architecture and Parkin Architects in Joint Venture, is set to open on Tuesday, October 1, 2013.

The hospital has long had the Province of B.C.’s busiest emergency department, and with the opening of the new facility it now has the biggest, at 57,000 square feet.

As a recent article in the Vancouver Sun notes, the state-of-the-art ER has many innovative design features informed by the latest evidence-based design principles:

  • Private treatment rooms with walls (not curtains) and glass fronts so health care professionals can monitor patients from nursing stations.
  • White boards in every room so patients and their families can have interactive communication with health care teams.
  • A pediatric ER with a separate entrance for an anticipated 18,000 to 24,000 patient visits.
  • A trauma room with three bays that has the first ceiling boom of its kind in Canada. The boom contains the cables and cords for equipment such as special LED surgery lights that can be readily swung into position for use.
  • A dozen treatment rooms for patients with infectious diseases. The rooms have their own bathrooms so contagious patients don’t expose others. They also have ante rooms where health care staff can put on their protective masks, gowns and gloves.
  • A medical imaging unit close to the trauma area where an anticipated 70,000 tests will be done each year. The CT scanner features a ceiling design of blue sky and blooming cherry trees, in a nod to anxious patients who can now gaze up at something other than dreary walls.
  • An all-concrete, six-ambulance holding garage area that can be converted into a disaster command centre.



CEI Architecture named Western Living Designers of the Year 2013 in the Eco Category


CEI Architecture couldn’t be more pleased to be named Eco Designer of the Year by Western Living Magazine. The achievement comes as part of the publication’s annual Designers of the Year awards, which will be featured in their upcoming September issue.

CEI was selected on the strength of such projects as the Vernon Library, Road 13 Winery, Black Hills Estate Wine Experience Centre and the Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence at Okanagan College.

Along with sustainable design, the awards showcase innovations in fashion, interiors, architecture and industrial design throughout Western Canada, with CEI finding itself in some very impressive company. Fellow award-winners include the non-profit fashion line Obakki, and North Vancouver-based artist, sculptor and furniture designer Brent Comber.

To read more about this year’s award winners, along with an in-depth interview with CEI Principal Nick Bevanda, pick-up the September issue of Western Living magazine or visit them online at



Richard Bolus at Alberta Recreation Conference

CEI senior partner Richard Bolus is a featured speaker at the Alberta Recreation and Parks Conference and Energize Workshop, at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise today through October 29.

Richard will be speaking on Sunday, October 29. His topic is “Being Smart About Sustainable Design in Your New Facility.”

This year’s conference theme is “Recreation and Parks: Bringing Quality to Life.”



Willingdon Park awarded best office

Phases 8 and 9 of CEI-designed Willingdon Park business campus was honoured last night as the winning entry in Office category at the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver Commercial Building Awards.

“This event is about celebrating innovation, talent and the spirit of collaboration in our building community,” said Rosario Setticasi, REBGV president. “These awards are a salute to professionals committed to meeting the needs of today without sacrificing those of future generations.”

Phases 8 and 9 are the culmination of CEI’s 25 years of design and development at Willingdon Park, which includes 1,000,000 square feet of premier, high tech office space. International tenants have included Motorola, eBay, Ericsson and Alcatel.

Completed in the summer of 2010, the twin buildings of phases 8 and 9 are targeting LEED Gold. The building itself is a strong architectural statement, framed by massive arches and attractive light spires: a modern office environment for the today’s changing business world.



Peter A. Allard Hall School of Law at UBC celebrates grand opening of Allard Hall

The University of British Columbia opened Allard Hall today, Canada’s first new university law school building in 30 years.

The opening ceremony was attended by several hundred guests, including the Right Hon. Beverley McLachlin, Chief Justice of Canada (a UBC Law faculty member from 1974-1981), the Hon. Steven L. Point, Lieutenant Governor of B.C. (alumnus and former faculty member), Peter A. Allard (alumnus) and representatives from the Law Foundation of B.C. and Musqueam Indian Band.

The four-storey, 141,000 square foot building was named after donor and alumnus Peter A. Allard.

The building, designed by CEI Architecture and Diamond and Schmitt Architects, includes flexible, modern teaching spaces, a replica courtroom and dedicated spaces for the faculty’s nearly 650 students, 45 full-time faculty, plus alumni and guests.

A three-storey multipurpose forum with floor-to-ceiling windows converts from a social area to an auditorium for special events and lectures. Designed and built to LEED Gold standards, Allard Hall’s carbon footprint is estimated to be as much as 87 percent less than that of an equivalent conventional building.

For more coverage, see the story in the Vancouver Sun.