Langara College in Vancouver is implementing a sustainable masterplan for the campus that includes recycling, resource management, energy efficiency, alternative transportation, and the construction of new LEED Gold buildings. One of their major accomplishments was the new library building designed by Teeple Architects, which includes multiple innovative wind towers that eliminate the need for conventional heating and cooling. Combined with a geothermal system, high-efficiency windows, excellent insulation, and a high-tech weather monitoring system, the wind tower facilitates natural ventilation and keeps the building cool.
The Langara library is specially designed to make use of the stack effect — cool air is brought in through a wind scoop at the bottom of the building, passes through the underground garage, and travels up through the atria and then finally out through a wind tower. A weather monitoring system operates vents to open or close depending on how much air is needed. Indoor sensors also monitor and control air temperature, humidity, CO2 content and movement. Ground source heating and cooling controls the temperature of the space, resulting in the elimination of traditional HVAC systems.
The library, like all new buildings on the campus, is waiting on its LEED Gold certification and makes use of recycled content, local and low-VOC materials. Natural daylighting floods the study areas, and automatically controlled lighting is turned on only when necessary. Additionally, the reflective roof collects rainwater, which is stored below the building and used to irrigate the new landscape. A sequence of bioswales on the western side of the building process stormwater, removing silt and pollution in the process.
Teeple Architects also designed the strategic master plan for the college to realize their environmental vision. The appearance, program and ecological features are all important aspects of the design of the library and any new buildings from here on out.
Architect: Teeple Architects
Associate Architect: IBI/HB Architects
Structural Engineer: Glotman, Simpson
Landscape Architect: Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg
Mechanical Engineer: Cobalt Engineering
Electrical Engineer: Spantek
General Contractor: Bird Construction
Images ©Shai Gil Photography