Okanagan College Daycare

Location: Penticton, BC
Building Type: Institutional
Project Phase: Complete
Certification Type: Standard
Year of Construction: 2017
Gross Floor Area (m2): 410
PHPP Verification:
Certified Passive House


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Project Description

Certified by the Passive House Institute in October, the Okanagan College childcare centre is a Silver finalist for the Canadian Home Builders Association – Central Okanagan’s 2018 Tommie Awards in the category of Best Environmental Initiative in Construction (Residential or Commercial).

Okanagan College partnered with the Penticton and District Community Resources Society (PDCRS), who is operating the facility. The centre provides 64 spaces for infants and toddlers, ages 3-5 daycare, preschool programs and after school care.

The centre has piqued interest for its innovation in sustainable construction. The 4,000 square foot facility is the first certified Passive House childcare centre in Canada, one of the country’s first non-residential Passive House buildings, and uses 80-90 per cent less energy than a standard child care facility.

The building features a 16” double stud truss wall filled with dense pack cellulose at a U-value of 0.100, a U0.800 average for windows, and an airtightness requirement of 0.6 air changes per hour.  The interior service wall allowed the building team to limit penetrations in the envelope to create an air-tight building.  The design emphasizes natural ventilation, which is driven by the Penticton-area climate and can be used for eight months of the year.

The building complies with B.C. Step Code Level 5 (14 years ahead of the 2032 standard).

The ventilation system, an 82 per cent efficient HRV, complies with BCBC, ASHRAE 62.1 and PHI.

Heating and cooling is provided by air-source heat pump with variable refrigerant flow distribution. Southern orientation of heat pump unit allows for solar heat gain to enhance wintertime performance. Plumbing vent pipes are terminated below roof level via air admittance valves (AAVs). The whole roof is clear of penetrations—allowing for maximum solar PV installation—and has zero thermal bridges.

The hot water system is a hybrid heat pump unit, served by dedicated earth tube system to deliver tempered air to enable year-round hybrid operation. The earth tube draws free heat from the city sewer pipe that passes through the site.

The building has comprehensive monitoring systems for thermal performance and energy metering of primary sub-circuits.

When PV is installed, the building has potential to achieve Passive House Premium—which would represent another first for this impressive building.

Project team

BC Building Science – Passive House Consultant

Archineers Consulting Ltd – Mechanical Engineer

Ritchie Custom Homes

Ritchie Construction Ltd. – Air-barrier detailing

Landform Architecture Ltd.

CertiPHIers – Certification team