2012 SAB Awards Winning Project - Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation


The Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence [COE] at Okanagan College was conceived to meet the urgent need for trades people, site managers and construction workers who are skilled in the practices of sustainable building. It includes classrooms, workshops, administrative offices, commercial offices, gymnasium, fitness centre, computer labs, demonstration lab, cafeteria, study spaces and gathering spaces.

The glazed facade of the Jim Pattison Centre engages the campus by revealing the activities within. glazing is Sunguard superneutral 68 on clear, triple glazed by Guardian Industries. The wood structure, finished with water-based, low-VOC Broda stain by CBR Products , is part of the strategy to achieve construction carbon neutrality, a prerequisite of the Living Building Challenge.

The Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence [COE] at Okanagan College was conceived to meet the urgent need for trades people, site managers and construction workers who are skilled in the practices of sustainable building. It includes classrooms, workshops, administrative offices, commercial offices, gymnasium, fitness centre, computer labs, demonstration lab, cafeteria, study spaces and gathering spaces.

The building has been designed to meet the requirements of the Living Building Challenge [LBC], and at 8,000m2, is the largest registrant to date in this most rigorous of green building rating programs. The LBC seeks to eliminate all negative impacts of building construction and operations, and all design decisions were made in the context of these objectives.
As a leading venue for teaching in green building design, the COE will have two important features:

  • • It is highly adaptable, so that as time passes, new technologies will easily replace old, ensuring relevance and currency with the curriculum.
  • • It promotes innovation in green building design and development. An innovation technology incubator is included in the COE for entrepreneurs in green building technology to test and develop new ideas in cooperation with the faculty and students.

This building is largely an application of old thinking and old technology to solve a modern problem. Basic design principles of siting to take advantage of the energy and ventilation that the natural environment has to offer combine with practical solutions to building envelope and building systems design.

One innovation was the use of a composite wood and concrete wall panel to address the need for radiant heating in the gymnasium. The panels use wood and concrete to form a wall system that incorporates the radiant heating pipes, ventilation and electrical infrastructure. The panels use less material than a non-composite solution, and have less embodied energy.

Due to site restrictions, the building is arranged on a north-south axis with a series of projections on the west to utilize the south and north light. The heavily articulated plan allows daylight and natural ventilation to penetrate deep into the building.
Large tubular skylights are used to maintain daylighting levels throughout the workshop spaces. In the north wing, prototype sun-tracking light pipes are being field-tested using an array of moving mirrors to actively track sun throughout the day, magnify sunlight by a factor of 10, and redirect it through a horizontal light pipe up to 18 metres into the building.

With the agreement of LBC, the building achieves the mandate of net-zero water use through a partnering agreement with the local municipality. Black water is exported to the recently completed, chemical-free, municipal water treatment facility. The equivalent volume of grey water treated effluent water returns to flush toilets, or to be used for irrigation, etc.

Projects credits:

  • Architect  CEI Architecture, Vancouver
    Owner/Developer  Okanagan College, Kelowna
    General Contractor  PCL Constructors Westcoast Inc., Kelowna
    Landscape Architect  MMM Group/Site 360, Kelowna
    Civil Engineer  True Consulting, Kelowna
    Electrical Engineer  Applied Engineering Solutions, Vancouver
    Mechanical Engineers  AME Group Engineers, Vancouver
    Structural Engineer  Fast + Epp, Vancouver
    Commissioning Agent  Inland Technical Services, Kamloops
    Sustainability Consultant  Recollective Consulting, Vancouver
    Quality Surveyor  Spiegel Skillen & Associates, Kelowna
    Geotechnical Engineer  Interior Testing Services, Kelowna
    Acoustical  BKL Consultants, Vancouver
    Photos  Ed White Photographics, Vancouver

Projects credits:

  • - Energy intensity in MJ/m2/year = 225 MJ/m2/year [include both base building and process energy]
    - Local materials [800km radius] by value = 23%
    - Recycled materials content by value = 10%
    - Water consumption from municipal source = 2,491 L/occupant/year [include both base building and process consumption]

Jury comments: Of the many high-performance educational projects submitted, this was the best example of a well integrated passive design solution in which the architecture was not overburdened with technology. A common sense approach to envelope design, heating, ventilation and daylighting is supplemented by innovative water and waste treatment systems. The careful configuration of the project also makes a positive contribution
to the public realm of the college campus.

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