First Place supportive housing, located in Central Vancouver, was built to accommodate those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. The cement building features 129 unit suites in a 60,000 ft2 space. There is below-grade parking, retail spaces, as well as spaces used for recreation and administrative purposes. The building received recognition for being LEED® Gold accredited and has a 560 ft2 solar collection area, as well as a 4500 ft2 green roof. The building is a participant in the Neighbourhood Energy Program (NEU) and utilized green building materials and finishes.
Targets of LEED® Gold and minimized carbon footprint were the drivers behind the mechanical design in this 10-storey building. The mechanical systems include solar thermal (evacuated tubes), NEU thermal energy heating, fresh air supply with central exhaust heat recovery, in-suite hydronic radiant floor and low-flow plumbing fixtures. This approach provided a 40% reduction in both energy use and domestic water consumption.
This multi-purpose building is a welcomed addition to the downtown core and an invaluable step toward helping those most in need. Williams Engineering is proud to have worked on a project that not only betters our society but also our environment.