2014 AWARD-WINNING PROJECT: Mountain Equipment Co-op Store, North Vancouver

A beautiful building with impressive performance - the more so because it is a retail facility that needs to attract and engage customers. The site development and integration with the park is carefully considered. MEC raises the bar every time it
developes a new store.

As an organization serving outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds, Mountain Equipment Co-op has sought to link its corporate identity to environmental stewardship.  Opening in 2012, the North Vancouver store embraces a holistic approach to sustainability that includes restoration and integration of the site with the adjacent public park.

The new store has become a hub for local outdoor enthusiasts and a showcase for sustainable development, transforming this previously impermeable site into a node of vibrant commercial and recreational activity. This project offered a rare opportunity to blur the edges between a retail development, public park, and a river eco-system.

Complementing and completing an existing retail axis while opening up to embrace the park and river, the facility is marked by a distinctive saw tooth roof - a key component in the passive design approach. The energy efficient envelope and on-site water management strategies have significantly lowered energy and water consumption compared to traditional retail spaces.

Overland storm water management is supplemented by underground storage and infiltration facilities; requiring no connection to the municipal sewer.  With 100% mitigation of storm water, up to and including a 10-year storm event, MEC North Vancouver exceeds municipal LEED® and Department of Fisheries and Oceans requirements.

The building’s mechanical system is designed to be primarily passive.  It has been designed with a reduced capacity and depends on solar gain and prevailing winds to maintain acceptable conditions. The building sources electricity from Bullfrog Power, Canada’s leading sustainable energy provider.

During daylight hours the retail floor is lit entirely with natural light through the use of a saw tooth roof with south-facing Solera glazing units.  A mechanical room with large inlet louvres draws fresh air using large-diameter, low-velocity propeller fans, and directs it into plenums under the main floor of the store.  Air is exhausted at the ceiling level through large area louvres in the sides of the saw  teeth. Recorded or forecasted hot temperatures trigger the natural ventilation system and radiant floor system to operate during unoccupied periods, cooling the building mass before the next hot day.

The project is targeting LEED® gold designation focusing on energy efficiency, water consumption, materials, landscaping and public access. While retail generally communicates consumption, the new MEC North Vancouver store reflects MEC’s commitment to conservation, public education, outdoor recreation, and stewardship of the environment.

Owner/Developer Mountain Equipment Co-op
Architect Proscenium Architecture and Interiors Inc.
General Contractor Ventana Construction Corporation
Landscape Architect Sharp and Diamond Landscape Architecture Inc.
Civil Engineer Kerr Wood Leidal Associates Ltd.
Mechanical/Electrical Engineer Pageau Morel and Associates Inc.
Structural Engineer Fast + Epp Structural Engineers
Commissioning Agent Stantec Consulting
LEED Consultant Recollective
Development Manager Corin Flood
Geotechnical Consultant Geopacific Consultants Ltd.
Photos Bob Matheson Photography/Randy Sharp, Sharp & Diamond Landscape Architects Inc.

Steel frame with structural insulated panels with curtain wall, concrete slab, TPO roof, vegetated facade by Green Screen , fiberglass windows by Cascadia Windows Ltd. , resilient flooring by Forbo .

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