Capilano Library

Previously located on the second floor of Capilano Mall, the Capilano Library is now a free-standing 10,000 sq ft facility. The library features 24-hour material returns, makerspace (sewing machine, vinyl cutter, 3D printer, etc.), quiet study rooms, and a larger community program room. Visitors have access to ravine views, increased natural light, and ground-floor access for individuals with strollers or mobility issues.

Williams Engineering (WE) provided mechanical sub-consultant services for the Capilano Library. Services include heat recovery on ventilation systems, fore-pipe fan coil systems, condensing boilers, and an air-cooled chiller. Several design iterations were considered, and the final design was ultimately chosen based on its architecture, budget, and maintainability.

The unique wood slat ceiling provided a challenge for the mechanical team in that services, shafts, and distribution networks needed to be kept concealed. The ceiling required the supplied air diffusers to deliver air from between the slats, so they were fully hidden. Additionally, the sprinkler heads had to be aligned with the void spaces between the slats in order to achieve the architect’s goals.

The air-cooled chiller also posed a technical challenge, as it sat outside of the building and created noise concerns. The WE mechanical team confronted this by specifying and designing the air-cooled chillers to have acoustic continuation features and integrating them into the building to further attenuate the acoustics. The mechanical room was utilized to place the fan coils and use a central shaft to bring ducts back and forth.

WE, along with our design team partners, use a collaborative model when designing, reducing risk for the owner. The model allowed the WE mechanical team to mock up areas of the building that would be potentially difficult to build, as well as high-traffic areas for distribution systems to validate that it could be built.

The Capilano Library is currently pursuing LEED Silver and continues to serve the Capilano community and surrounding areas. Williams Engineering Canada strives to create innovative solutions to further progress access to art, education, and cultural development.