1700 Alberni 1700 Alberni Street, Vancouver
Social sustainability, place making and community building:
The design proposal is intentionally configured to maximise the public amenity of the project at ground level and for the entire perimeter of the site.
The massing of the development was driven by a desire to create a new paradigm for high rise residential development, encouraging greater visual engagement with the public, creating new dynamic views around and through the buildings and opening up the podium to create a thriving new public space.
A mix of commercial units has been proposed around the base of the building; all of which sit below a generous canopy with operable façades creating a pedestrian friendly and permeable street frontage, when weather permits.
A new Day Care facility has been included alongside the retail to further broaden the range of facilities on offer within the locality and address a long term need for more child care in the Downtown area.
The public amenity is extended into the heart of the podium to create a dynamic new community space for Vancouver, offering shelter and providing a range of retail offers with places to eat and drink opening into the central sky lit space, supporting and sustaining the Downtown community.
The project will demonstrate compliance with the City of Vancouver (CoV)’s Green Buildings Policy for Rezoning via the Low Emissions Green Buildings Pathway. The design team is committed to delivering a high-performance building as evident by focusing on a passive design first approach with the use of triple glazing, inclusion of thermally broken balconies and high-performance exhaust air heat recovery system.
In addition, the project will also feature mechanical systems which satisfy the principals of the CoV’s low carbon energy system policy through the use of air source heat pumps as a primary source to meet space heating and domestic hot water demands. Despite incorporating a low carbon energy system, the development voluntarily commits to meeting the more stringent performance limits that typically apply to buildings that do not incorporate such system.
Furthermore, the design team will also be exploring further opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions during detailed design stage.
With regards to the façade design the proposal has applied glass meaningfully to balance the resident’s access to views and daylight with thermal gains and losses. The elevations are configured to allow operable windows to all spaces to support resident’s control over their space without defaulting to mechanical heating.
Landscape and Rainwater Management:
The vision for the project is to maximise the quantum of landscape and planting as far as practical, but to do it in a way which provides benefit and amenity to the local community, as well as the private residences. The design of the podium creates a myriad of terraces where permanent planting has been deliberately integrated into the outermost edges, in order to be highly visible from the surrounding streets and be easily maintainable by the building’s facility team.
The project currently includes approx. Double the quantum of planting that would be required to support solely the building’s Rainwater Management Plan. The prominence of the planting around the continuous podium terraces and the recessive balconies create an uncommonly rich expression of landscape over the 5 levels of podium, which is a significant addition of biophilia within the Downtown area. Biodiversity and habitat creation will be one of the drivers for species selection.
The design team are committed to exploring materials that balance performance and longevity with desire to reduce harm to the environment and climate.
Key elements of the building such as structure and envelope will be interrogated to uncover opportunities to reduce the embodied carbon of the materials where possible. Low carbon concrete will be considered along with the potential for use of structural timber for the podium construction, if a code compliant solution can be established.
The design of the envelope will explore the use of timber framed curtain wall panels and the sourcing of metals and other materials to ensure the environmental impact is reduced. The principals of circularity and design for re-use at the eventual end of the buildings life will also be explored and encouraged through the procurement process.