Gallery: Gleneagles Community Center Regulates its Temperature With The...

The concrete floors and walls serve as a thermal mass able to soak up the sun's energy and then re-distribute it through radiant floors within the building.

The community center, which is located next to a golf course, houses a community “living room,” café, meeting room, administration offices, child care facilities, as well as a gymnasium, multipurpose room, arts room, youth room, outdoor specialty area and fitness area. Built on a sloping hillside location, both the lower and middle levels are on grade and provide a closer connection to the outdoors. The gym consists of three open levels, and many of the programs within the building look down onto the gym floor.

A large, overhanging timber roof covers the entire building, protecting the interior from too much sun in the summer and re-directing rainwater runoff into nearby swales for water infiltration. The floors have been cast with concrete and slabs and walls were constructed from double-wythe composite tilt-up concrete. The concrete floors and walls serve as a thermal mass to soak up the sun’s energy and then re-distribute it through radiant floors within the structure. The concrete acts either as an absorber or emitter of energy – whether cool or hot – and helps keep the building a constant temperature.

Underneath the adjacent permeable parking area is a ground source heat exchange system that helps regulate the temperatures inside. A displacement system flushes contaminant up and out of the building while providing fresh air, and heat recovery brings the fresh air back in at a similar temperature. Ultimately, the community center uses less than 40% of the energy a comparable building.

The 24,000 sq foot project began back in 2000 and was completed in 2003. Since then the building has been awarded the Lieutenant Governor’s Certificate of Merit in 2006 and then the Governor General’s Medal in Architecture 2008.

+ Patkau Architects

Via ArchDaily

Images ©James Dow


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  1. lazyreader January 10, 2011 at 8:00 am

    It does look like a “camp”. Take away the wood and you have something that screams missile silo or airplane hanger.

  2. Holcim Awards January 7, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    Yikes, you guys are comparing this design to a concentration camp? That is a bit harsh. I actually like the wood structure of the roof and the way this building interacts with the landscape. I think it is a nice project. For other examples of inspiring sustainable architecture check out past winners of the Holcim Awards US:
    The Holcim Awards for Sustainable Construction 2011 is now open for submissions. Get your creative projects in today.

  3. lazyreader January 7, 2011 at 8:42 am

    The disturbing part is if you actually go to Auschwitz, there are a few buildings that look little nicer.

  4. lazyreader January 7, 2011 at 7:59 am

    A strip mall was demolished around where I live that looks almost like this. No wonder people do drugs and join gangs, the alternative is hanging out in ugly buildings like above. The building looks like the crematorium for Auschwitz. Some may like it now, the problem with fashionable architecture is it only stays in fashion a few years, but the building lasts decades then left to rot. Architects learned nothing from the thousands of post-war buildings. Did it not occur to them that bare concrete doesn’t age well. We may applaud the “green” features. But the activities inside are a distraction to the damage hideous buildings have on our psyche. There isn’t enough Prozac in the world to remedy this problem. By the way, the trees planted outside don’t help much either, they’ll be to small for children to ever climb for years, then they built it near a golf course! A place known for being exclusive.

  5. Eric January 6, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    That is a beautiful building. I love when architecture mixes modern design with a more classic and simple wooden style.

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