EMBRUN – At a special meeting on Thurs., Nov. 2, Russell Council received an update on the progress surrounding the planned recreation centre. The update came in the form of a PowerPoint presentation displaying schematic drawings at a class B (60 per cent) stage for the project. The report, PR-14-2023 was received for information purposes, supported by an oral presentation given by two members of the design team, Architects Marc Downing and Luke Duross.

The update built upon an earlier report that was provided in April 2023, and on work that was prepared for the community presentation information session that was held earlier this year and incorporated some changes which had been made in response to feedback received.

As they went through the presentation it was stressed that the heart of the project is a courtyard that links to existing park facilities and that the design team was concentrating on making the project forward thinking while keeping the cost as low as possible.

Sustainability is also a key component of the design of the facility. Downing commented that while they had not been tasked with pursuing certification of the building, there were still concepts that they followed.

“…As designers and we’ve done everything we can to make this building a kind of sustainable effort,” said Downing. “In our practice as architects but specifically in our approach to this project, we’re looking to improve the performance of the building envelope.

This project operates at a higher level of performance than anything you might expect from even the last 10 years. It’s very important to us to ensure that this building is a good value and is economical, so when we say improve our envelope performance, we’re talking about reducing the overall amount of glazing to solid wall detail the building so there are no thermal bridges structures penetrating from the inside to the outside. We use a good highly insulated roof system. These are simple principles that we would apply to any building, and we are ensuring that we are taking this task very seriously on this project.”

Downing went on to stress that improved envelope performance does not mean increased expense. “It just means it’s a topic that we pay a lot of attention to in our office so the building that we’re going to be providing can meet those goals to reduce energy consumption. It is a very important topic; this project is an all-electric project and what that means is that we’re very focused on waste heat. Refrigeration systems produce tons of waste heat. Pools use tons of waste heat. There’s a really natural way that we can recycle heat energy in this building to recover heat that might have been wasted in buildings from 20 years ago.”

Following the presentation, council moved into closed session for further discussion of the costing update for the recreation complex and an update on the director of corporate services-treasurer recruitment process.