Vancouver Paralympic Centre

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Stats:

strong>Built: 2007/2008

Capacity: 6,000

Area: 108,000 square feet (curling venue); 174,500 square feet (post-retrofit)

Capabilities: Curling and mixed wheelchair curling competition, then conversion to a new multi-purpose community and recreation complex

LEED Certification Target: Gold

Awards:

Excellence in Green Building Practices by the Globe Foundation and the World Green Building Council, 2009

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Vancouver Paralympic Centre

Vancouver Olympic/Paralympic Centre (VOPC) will be the home of competition curling and wheelchair curling events. Post Games, the venue will be converted into a legacy community facility for Vancouver residents.

Challenge

Build a LEED Gold facility to replace an aging city landmark with net-zero green space loss.

Actions

Design and construction of the VOPC achieved great reductions in its potential green house gas footprint, most notably due to innovations in energy efficiency. The VPOC will use excess heat from ice slab cooling to heat the building, aquatic centre, future community centre and run the complex's air conditioning system, reducing energy performance by 40%, when compared to a non LEED building.

Infrastructure linking the ice rink systems to the pool is a key factor in reducing the VOPC's carbon footprint. The initial design decision to relocate the Vancouver Curling Club into the building added a second ice surface to the heat recovery system, providing more waste heat and improving the overall system economics. The heat recovery system supplies heat to the pools, showers and building ventilation, with top up from a condensing boiler. An additional synergy is the relocation of the neighbourhood library into VOPC, which minimises the library's energy footprint by taking advantage of the efficient heating system, as well as providing a common location for separate community services, thus reducing the need for separate journeys.

During Games operations, the building ventilation, cooling and dehumidification systems will require continuous monitoring and adjusting to combat the ice melting effect of thousands of spectators and the likely variation in weather conditions. It is vital to the success of the Games that there are skilled staff who understand the buildings responses to different loads and that they are able to track every aspect of the building's operation. BC Hydro and the energy management software will be providing building staff real-time information and will alert them to any consumption anomalies through an email notification system.

The VOPC refrigeration plant will be reconfigured during the Games to provide energy efficient air conditioning as well as ice making, supplementing the existing heat pumps. BC Hydro and the software will also be able to measure the impact of this reconfiguration.

Legacy

In the Riley Park neighbourhood near scenic Queen Elizabeth Park, the VOPC is one of the signature venues of the 2010 Winter Games. After the conversion to legacy design, the new state-of-the-art destination facility, managed and operated by the Vancouver Park Board, will become a recreation legacy for all of Vancouver, hosting over one million visitors a year. It will boast an accessible community centre, ice rink, curling club, library, preschool, field house and offices. A new destination aquatic centre with indoor and outdoor pools will be attached to the curling venue.

Throughout 2011 and 2012, the old Percy Norman Pool, the Riley Park Community Centre, Riley Park Ice Rink and Vancouver Curling Club buildings will be demolished - as their newer counterparts come into full operation - and the land on which they’re situated will be returned to green space.

Ongoing measurement and verification of building systems will help ensure that the buildings continue to meet performance expectations, and ensure that during their projected 70+ years of building life they will continue to maintain, and hopefully improve on, the original design vision. VOPC has already installed sub-meters in the venue in an effort to better understand energy consumption. The support from BC Hydro and its partners during the Games will help the Vancouver Park Board understand how to best implement long term energy tracking.

+ www.vancouverparks.ca