Within walking distance from the downtown Jasper core, the brand-new backpacker friendly, HI Jasper Hostel is located on Sleepy Hollow Road. The facility boasts 2400m2 , and offers a variety of room options (4-bed shared rooms, family ensuite rooms, private quad ensuites, and premium private room ensuites) as well as on-site amenities. The fireplace lounge, games room, and kitchen add to the inviting atmosphere. Williams Engineering (WE) worked with Horizon North and S2 Architecture to respect and acknowledge that the project reflected the surroundings and met the highest environmental standards while minimizing the impact on the environment.
Throughout the two-year project, that commenced in 2017 and ended in 2019, WE provided the mechanical and electrical detail designs and specifications for the facility as well as energy modeling. The project consisted of four wood frame buildings built modularly off site. Modular construction was selected to minimize the duration of site construction and maximize off-site construction of building components including the structure, mechanical and electrical systems. The modular construction allowed for stricter quality control of all components, with all deficiencies corrected in the factory before being delivered to site. Electric perimeter radiation — a process in which electrical energy is converted to heat energy — was utilized throughout the entire facility. It is easy to install and is virtually maintenance free without the same moving parts as a hydronic system, which is an important consideration in more remote locations. Ventilation to the suites was provided with heat recovery ventilators (HRVs). These units ducted air from the outdoors through a heat exchanger in the HRV, which was then warmed up by exhaust air through the same unit. This provided superior air quality, as the ventilation was 100% outdoors while still affording energy savings using exhaust air heat recovery. The common areas were ventilated and air-conditioned through high efficiency rooftop units and furnaces. The mechanical team implemented low flow plumbing fixtures, with the interest of minimizing domestic water consumption in the facility. These fixtures met the water requirements of the users, while providing significant savings in water usage.
The WE electrical team worked diligently to illuminate the site evenly using highly efficient, dark sky friendly LED lighting while minimizing light spill onto areas beyond the property lines. Additionally, interior lighting fixture selection and placement was carefully coordinated with the interior design team to provide adequate illumination levels while creating the required ambiance. Unique and sustainable features included: the LED lighting fixtures, and the advanced lighting controls which reduced energy consumption, and virtually eliminated any required maintenance costs; power layouts were coordinated with the owners to ensure that the required operational functions were met. Most importantly, the project met the energy efficiency requirements of the National Energy Code for Buildings 2011.
Incurring challenges can be a daunting part of the process. For example, the upper two levels of the hostel, the staff building, and the manager building were constructed off site. This posed a great challenge to the team, as they had to ensure that the units were “plug and play” ready after arriving on site. The WEC electrical team were diligent in coordinating the detailed circuiting layouts, to ensure this feature was met without any complications on site.
Overall, the use of Revit facilitated early coordination of the modular components and ensured minimal conflicts and changes during construction. A sustainable and environmentally conscious facility, built in one of the most popular, nature filled, Canadian travel destinations is open year-round to host eager travelers from all around the globe.