Today, cities no longer build armies or extend borders as symbols their advancement. Rather, sustainable cities built with eco-friendly materials and green practices have become the true indicators of a city’s progressiveness. For the construction world, LEED certification has become top of mind as city leaders all vie for the top green spot in sustainability.
Vancouver is a city that is taking sustainability seriously as they are looking to add Greenest City in the World to their calling card by 2020. This bold ambition is backed by a combination of programs, including the notable regulations surrounding building rezoning which requires a minimum of LEED Gold certification for the rehabilitated space. Through initiatives such as these, the city hopes to transform the market by increasing consumer choice and awareness for green buildings, whilst ultimately advancing Vancouver as the Green Capital of the world.
One building in particular has set the standard for green re-zoned buildings. Located at l005 Station Street is a six-storey building that has been rezoned into a unique residential and retail space, With 3,824 square metres, the multi-purpose building includes a retail area on the ground level and houses studio homes for eighty residents with a single, shared commercial kitchen. Instead of 80 separate kitchens, appliances and venting systems, the entire building shares one cooking hub where the energy and waste is centralised in an isolated area. The concept was clearly progressive; yet if successfully implemented would be a tremendous step towards the city’s plans. The
developers knew that although it was a niche market, there was a demand for this type of housing.
Knowing that the space would receive plenty of use, Darwin Construction and NSDA Architects created a design that was not only green, but would also be able to stand the rigours of use. They were interested in a concept that could marry function and sustainability together rather than having one compromise the other. The design was systematically thought out; and the parking lot, electrical room and elevator pits were placed below grade to maximise the site’s space. However, this posed a significant challenge for the builders as the site was critically below the water table. I005 Station Street is located in an area which was once in the middle of False Creek. Today, the creek is a striking body of water that lines Vancouver’s skyline and is bordered by a waterfront community.
However, at one time the False Creek was five times its current size, and filled with wildlife. Although it was filled in during the First World War to create more land to cater to Vancouver’s industrial growth, the entire area remains to be critically below the water table. Any structure build in the vicinity would have to have adequate waterproofing systems to ensure that the structural retains its structural integrity. To safeguard the structure from dangerous water damage, and to maintain its green certification, Kryton International Inc.’s crystalline concrete waterproofing systems was chosen to protect the below grade areas including the underground parking lot, electrical room and elevator pits. Kryton’s flagship Krystol Internal Membrane (KIM) product was used to waterproof 350 cubic metres of concrete. Over 244 ten kiIogram packages of KIM were written into the concrete specs, and Darwin Construction chose Lafarge Canada as their ready-mix partner.
Kryton’s KIM is an admixture that transforms the concrete into a water-resistant barrier, shielding it from moisture and keeping the concrete strong and durable. When combined with water and concrete, Krystol reacts with un-hydrated cement particles to form millions of needle-like crystals. Over a period of weeks and months, these crystals grow, filling the naturally occurring pores and voids in concrete, and permanently blocking the pathways for water and waterborne contaminants.
Kryton’s Krystol Waterstop System, which specifically addresses construction joints, was also used throughout the building. The system uses Krystol Waterstop Grout and Krystol Waterstop Treatment to protect the static concrete-to-concrete joints to create a watertight seal. All of Kryton’s products are eco-friendly. They eliminate the need for additional materials such as membranes that conventional waterproofing materials require, and do not call for specific equipment and specialized tradespeople. Not only do Kryton’s products permanently protect the concrete from water ingress, but it also increases the structures LEED scoring.
1005 Station Street is now a model of sustainable rehabilitation that features a distinctive housing system on a challenging site. For some, it represents the future of Vancouver as they continue to vie to be the Greenest City in the World by 2020.
For further information, visit www.kryton.com