Project type Grant amount Community
Feasibility study $21,300 City of Maple Ridge, BC

Albion community centre and school

When the City of Maple Ridge saw a need for improved and sustainable recreational services, it birthed the idea of a community centre in the Albion area. Around the same time, the school district was preparing to start public consultations for a new 500+ student elementary school. And so, a joint planning and consultation process began. It emphasized shared space, a connection to nature and a green building design with an educational component. 

The city completed a GMF-funded study to determine the technical and financial feasibility of implementing energy efficiency guidelines for the centre. This study was a result of an extensive community-wide consultation, including:

  • An open house 
  • Neighbourhood workshops with students
  • Interviews with major stakeholders, including the Katzie and Kwantlen First Nations, School District, Metro Vancouver Regional District and facility operators 
  • A series of community-wide surveys 
  • 25 community partner outreach meetings 
  • Information sharing through local media, the city and school district’s websites and social media platforms

This feasibility study allowed the community to develop:

  • A review of net-energy reduction in a building that is atypical and doesn’t meet various sustainable program standards 
  • Energy modeling that determined how changes in architectural, mechanical and electrical systems would impact the building’s cost and performance 
  • An exploration and understanding of sustainability paths that allowed the city council to make better funding decisions

Albion community centre

The city investigated four highly reputable programs currently in place to advance green building in British Columbia. Given the limitations of this location (i.e., it is remote and certain codes don’t apply to institutional buildings), it became clear that a LEED Silver certification was likely the highest level the building could achieve. The results suggested that the new design would use 62 per cent less energy than a baseline building designed to minimum code standards. 

“To me, the best part about this project is the interface between the elementary school and the green building education. This centre is also an example of the great partnership between the school and the city, and is one of our many mutual projects. In the long run, it will save taxpayer dollars and provide better services to the community.”

–Don Cramb, Senior Recreation Manager, Maple Ridge Parks, Recreation & Culture 

The community voiced its strong support for the concept of a co-located elementary school and neighbourhood community centre. The designers focused on incorporating the existing landscape into the design and showcased some sustainable approaches as part of its educational approach. The centre will also serve as a major node to natural trail connections in the surrounding riparian area. 

“I think the centre will enhance our community greatly… There is an overall need in the area to support children and families, so it is really wonderful to see these synergies.” 

–Rick Delorme, Director of Maintenance and Facilities, School District 42 Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows

Additional resources 

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