The Link

The Link at 2780 West Broadway in Vancouver, British Columbia, is home to several tenants in the social service space, including local agencies Westcoast Family Centres (WFC), Pacific Community Resources Society (PCRS) and the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD). Comprised largely of office and shared amenity space, the Link utilizes a unique layout with co-working spaces to foster innovation, program integration and ease of knowledge transfer. These tenants offer essential services to support children, youth and families from all across the province.

The City of Vancouver, in partnership with WFC, PCRS and MCFD, identified the opportunity to renovate the existing vacant second floor of the building into a social services hub that offers various social programs and services to the community. The space includes roughly 37,430 square feet of office, service and reception areas. Williams Engineering (WE) provided mechanical and electrical consulting engineering services for this renovation and tenant improvement project alongside Chernoff Thompson Architects. All new mechanical equipment, including fan motors, pump motors and heating and cooling systems, are high-efficiency systems as energy conservation was a high priority for this project. In addition, compliance with Part 11 of the 2014 Vancouver Building By-law for the mechanical systems design, wherever economically feasible, was also a requirement.

Air to water heat pump units provides heating and chilled water to the corresponding 4-pipe fan coil units. These heat pumps can provide independent or simultaneous heating and cooling based on the building loads. WE designed two heat pump units to provide redundancy. The existing boiler plants located in the boiler room on the first level were connected to the system to secure use as back-up heating in the event of a main heat pump unit failure. In addition, WE provided the design for the new HVAC system, which has its own dedicated control and programmable thermostats that are monitored and controlled by a direct digital control system (DDC). This allows for any failure or notifications to display on the control panels.

All existing electrical panels located downstream from the main distribution panel were replaced with new equipment to accommodate the electrical loads required to suit the new space. All the existing fluorescent lights were replaced with a new LED lighting system designed by WE with occupancy sensor control to reduce energy consumption.

The Link fills the need for a multi-faceted family support centre in Vancouver and has become a facility where families can access several services and resources in one location. This building was designed to create a vibrant and inclusive community support system that encourages connection, collaboration, and progress.