NVOS Environmental Learning Centre

Brackendale, British Colombia

Situated on 420 acres of designated ecological reserve land in Paradise Valley BC, the North Vancouver Outdoor School (NVOS) is unique among a handful of environmental learning centres in Canada. NVOS provides experiential overnight field-based studies, serving 5000 students and 6000 adults annually. Their mission is to provide hands-on educational programming to students of all ages in its indoor and outdoor classrooms.

The main program is located on the upper floor as the design flood level is above the lower floor slab elevation. The lower floor structure therefore consists of a combination of concrete shear walls and filigree steel columns reminiscent of the delicate stilt construction found in south-east Asia, giving the building an overall light floating appearance. The upper structure consists of an innovative glulam post and beam and cross-laminated panel (CLT) construction. CLT’s were chosen for their strength, dimensional stability and speed of erection.

Architect: McFarland Marceau Architects Ltd.
Budget: Undisclosed
Completed: Summer 2012

2012 Holcim Award of Acknowledgement for Sustainable Construction
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