Project Specs

Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Climate Zone: Cool-Temperate
Building Type: Commercial
Project Phase: Certified
Certification Type: Passive House Classic
Year of Construction: 2021
Gross Floor Area (m2): 2,220
Treated Floor Area (m2): 1,537

Project Description

This multi-purpose arts and culture hub is a City of Vancouver owned seven-story plus basement concrete building which will provide affordable artist work and gallery space, operated by a not-for-profit arts organization. The ground floor will serve as an art gallery and event space while the floors above will be rented out and fitted up as art studios. The project was required to be designed to be certified to the Passive House standard, and use no fossil fuels, to meet the City’s commitment to build all new City owned buildings to achieve near zero emissions in operation.

Thermal Envelope

Exterior Wall: Steel stud-framed exterior walls are insulated with 152mm (6”) thick mineral wool batt insulation between the steel studs plus an additional layer of 203mm thick exterior mineral wool semi-rigid insulation, for an effective thermal resistance of RSI-7.7 (R-44).
Basement Floor/Floor Slab: Below-grade perimeter walls and slab-on-grade are insulated with 127mm (5”) thick extruded polystyrene (XPS) insulation which provides an effective thermal resistance of RSI-4.8 (m2·K)/W (R-27 ft2·°F·h/BTU).
Roof: 203mm (8”) thick layer of XPS with a thermal resistance of RSI-7.5 (R-43)
Window: Cascadia Universal Series fibreglass -framed windows and doors. Windows have an overall effective U-value of 0.80 W/(m²K).

Mechanical System

Ventilation: Passive House-certified Swegon Gold RX 35 energy recovery ventilator with a sensible heat recovery efficiency which varies between 86.4% (at 25°C) and 86.5% (at -7°C). Ventilation air is delivered to the back of each variable refrigerant flow (VRF) fan coil unit (FCU) on each floor.
Heating/Cooling: Heating and cooling provided by two Daikin variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems which allow for simultaneous heating and cooling of different zones.
Domestic Hot Water: Two Colmac CxV low-ambient temperature air to heat pumps installed on the roof with a reverse cascading storage tank system with electric resistance maintenance and backup heating. The coefficient of performance (CoP) of the heat pumps varies from 1.9 at -9°C ambient air to 4.2 at 24°C.