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Multi-family housing

Vancouver Olympic Village

Award Description

Out of all the new infrastructure projects showcased at the 21st Winter Olympic Games, Vancouver's Olympic and Paralympic Village that was used to house the competitions' 2,800 athletes and officials must have been one of the most impressive. Its construction, completed at the end of 2009, involved all of Lafarge's expertise in LEED certification, which was required by the specifications to reduce the buildings' environmental footprint in terms of energy efficiency, water consumption, heating, use of local materials and reuse of any surplus. Innovative concretes have clearly demonstrated their added value in achieving this. Constructing green buildings according to LEED construction methods raises new challenges, especially specification requirements that the concrete have an 80% recycled content value.

Several formulations of high-volume fly ash concrete (developed using tests conducted in Lafarge laboratories as well as LEED assessment calculations) made a strong contribution to meeting the cost, performance and sustainability requirements. Derived from burning coal in electric utility plants, fly ash can be used as a supplementary cementitious material for improving the strength, durability, workability and other properties of concrete. In addition to its many economic and performance advantages, fly ash use in concrete is also good for the environment as it saves virgin raw materials and makes use of an industrial by-product that might otherwise be disposed of in landfills. It also allows concrete producers to optimize their use of portland cement, thereby reducing the carbon footprint and lowering the embodied energy of concrete.

With eight complexes distributed over a 90-acre former industrial waterfront property, the impressive 600,000-sq.-ft. village containing over 600 dwelling units is the first phase in an immense project to redevelop the South-East False Creek area near downtown Vancouver. With the conclusion of the Paralympic Games, the environmentally friendly village has now become Millennium Water-a fully integrated, socially inclusive community that will be home to 16,000 people. Plans call for 250 affordable housing units, a 45,000-sq.-ft. community center, three child care centers, an elementary school, community garden, public plaza, and much more. By design, LEED-certified green buildings have operational efficiencies that make the facilities cheaper for the community to operate as a legacy to be enjoyed for generations.

Now being hailed as the greenest neighborhood in the world, Millenium Water has received international recognition as a vibrant community that reduces resource use, has a minimal carbon footprint, and shows us new possibilities for urban planning and healthy communities. This sustainable living showcase includes such features as rain water harvesting, renewable energy systems, and a net-zero energy building that generates as much power as it uses through energy consumption monitoring, solar recovery and waste-heat capture. The neighborhood is a true mixed-use complex with both residential as well as commercial and plenty of common use spaces and gardens. Learn more about the design and construction process at the Challenge Series (www.thechallengeseries.ca), which documents the process as a way to educate and inspire communities, professionals, owners and builders seeking to create meaningful opportunities out of the challenges of climate change.

Project Participants

Owner - Vancouver Organizing Committee, and City of Vancouver, Vancouver BC
Developer - Millennium Development Corp, Vancouver, BC
Buiding Architects - Olympic Village Design Manager, West Vancouver, BC
Architect/Design - Merrick Architect, Vancouver, BC
Architect/Design - HBBH Architects, Vancouver, BC
Architect/Design - VIA Architecture, Vancouver, BC
Architect/Design - PWL Partnership, Vancouver, BC
Landscape Architect - Durante Kreuk Ltd, Vancouver, BC
Structural Engineer - Glotman Simpson, Vancouver, BC
General Contractor - ITC Construction Group, Vancouver, BC
General Contractor - MetroCan Construction Ltd., Surrey, BC
Concrete Formwork - Femo Construction, Burnaby, BC
Concrete & Fly Ash Supplier - Lafarge, Reston, VA
Masonry Contractor - Wolf Masonry Ltd, Vancouver, BC
Masonry Contractor - Gracom Masonry A JV, Delta, BC
Mechanical Engineering - Cobalt Engineering, Vancouver, BC
Environmental Engineering - Keystone, Burnaby, BC

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