UniQuad Makes a Big Impact for Two New Aquatics Centers

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Light Plays a Big Role at Two New Aquatic Centers in Suburban Vancouver, BC

Surrey, BC is a small but growing suburban community outside of Vancouver that is growing into a more fully equiped modern city. The city leaders tasked Bing Thom Architects and Hughes Condon Marler Architects with designing two new cultural hubs for the city, public aquatic centers, to tie into the city’s love for fun and fitness.

These community indoor swimming pools offer up some design challenges though, with the biggest being height for water slides and high dives and a large open span for the pool.

Grandview Heights Aquatic Center

Guildford-Aquatic-Centre-Grandview-Heights-Aquatic-Centre-01Hughes Condon Marler Architects designed the Grandview Heights Aquatic Center with an Olympic sized swimming pool, diving platforms, a leisure pool with water slide, hot tubs, a sauna, and steam room and a weight room all completely filled with light. HCMA created a roof shaped like an ocean wave that operates like a suspension bridge to keep the building free of support beams allow for the walls to be covered in CPI’s UniQuad product.

This very impressive building features 12,700 sq ft of UniQuad Translucent Walls with heights up to 50 feet. The wall panels are a major focal point of the aquatic center and a majority of the light comes from the translucent walls and they add to the visual drama of the space.

Guildford Aquatic Center

Guildford-Aquatic-Centre-Grandview-Heights-Aquatic-Centre-07Bing Thom Architects went with skylights instead of wall lights to bring natural light into the Guildford Aquatics Center. The aquatic center is an addition to an existing athletic center and BTA designed it to hold a competition lap pool, and a family pool with water slide and the always important lazy river.

The Guildford center uses preformed concrete slabs as the walls, the polar opposite of the translucent panels and glass walls of the Grandview Heights Aquatic Center. So to bring in the light and add visual interest to the shoe box shaped building BTA used long wooden trusses and coupled with skylights. The trusses serve a dual purpose as well, they contain the mechanical and sprinkler systems and are large enough to allow maintenance workers to walk through them. The skylights cast striped light and shadow across the eastern wall with the afternoon sun, creating visual patterns and interest while letting in daylight.

Both Aquatic Center’s use daylight to create impact and visual interest, but rely on different methods to achieve their results. Which do you like better? Which product would you rather use? Let us know in the comments!

Read the full architectual article here:

Making a Splash

Photos by Ema Peters.

Translucent Vs. Transparent Daylighting

transparent vs translucent daylighting

When Should You Use Transparent Daylighting and When Should You Use Translucent?

Proper daylighting design requires use of both translucent vs. transparent daylighting. Glass or other transparent glazings provide a view of the outside, making the room feel larger and bringing the outdoors in. However, glass also brings in solar heat and causes glare, making the space uncomfortable and difficult to work in.

Translucent Vs. Transparent Daylighting

Translucent Daylighting Is the Most Cost Effective

Utilizing translucent daylighting is the most efficient and effective way to provide natural daylighting. Translucent panels are far more effective at blocking heat, providing savings in energy usage. Translucent panels also scatter the light, eliminating glare and reducing the amount of both artificial light and amount of daylighting needed, reducing both operating costs and installation costs. Translucent panels are cheaper to manufacture and install than glass, providing the best cost to usage ratio.

CPI Daylighting’s translucent polycarbonate, like their UniQuad or QuadWall products, provide highly diffused light without glare or solar heat gain. Diffuse light is like light on a cloudy day; small shadows, no spotlighting, low heat and easy on the eyes.

Transparent Daylighting Provides a View

Glass on the other hand provides a view. However the tradeoff is that it also delivers glare and solar heat gain. Glass is also expensive, and to get similar U-values, the glass has to be coated, triple pane, and insulated with argon gases, all adding to the costs. The seals will eventually break down, the gases leak out, and performance drops, and either replacements are expensive and difficult, or impossible.

But, there are areas that a view is necessary. No one wants to work in a building without a window or view outside. So the key is to balance the translucent vs. transparent daylighting in the design.

Translucent Vs. Transparent Daylighting Usage

For general use, walls at eye height (6 feet – 8 feet) should have some transparent glazing, allowing for views outside. In almost all other cases translucent daylighting provides the best performance at the best price. It really depends upon the usage: gymnasiums work best with translucent daylighting, and office buildings do well with translucent daylighting, as glare and heat can drop productivity quickly.

Lakewood Mall Retrofit with Quadwall

Los Angeles area mall reduces glare and daily energy expenditure with CPI Daylighting’s Quadwall® panels

Bright spots, dark patches and solar heat gain plagued suburban Los Angeles’ Lakewood Center for decades, causing a rise in the mall’s HVAC costs and energy expenditure. In 2010, the then 60-year-old mall began a 4-phase renovation over the next four years that would replace 42,000  square feet of ageing plexiglass skylight with CPI Daylighting’s Quadwall® panels.

The number one advantage of the Quadwall is that there’s an insulating factor between the outside and the inside, which helps the climate control inside the mall because the right temperature can be maintained using less HVAC, since the renovation, we’ve cut the run time of the AC units by four hours per day!

Scott Cleveland, Operations Manager, Lakewood Center, Lakewood, CA

The skylights were installed 25 years ago when the roof was first put on the once open mall, but had leaked and cracked over time, holding a U-value of .73 when replaced. By contrast, the new CPI Daylighting Quadwall panels have a .22 U-value.

An assembly of two independent translucent insulated panels, the Quadwall system provides indefinite building envelope protection with its Removable Skin Technology (RST) that allows the exterior panel to be removed while still maintaining the integrity of the interior panel. Joined by a mechanically interlocking connection, the dry-glazed Quadwall system eliminates the need for vulnerable adhesives, adding durability, as well as even light distribution with the system’s tight-cell technology. Specified for Lakewood Center in 10 mm ice white matte exterior over 8 mm ice white matte interior, the two panel Quadwall system is an integrated, high-performance daylighting system.

With the Removable Skin Technology, we won’t have the same type of replacement challenges, plus the strength of the panel and the way it’s built makes a big difference too. In the long run, because of zero maintenance and CPI Daylighting’s warranty, costs should be very low on the maintenance side of it.

Scott Cleveland, Operations Manager, Lakewood Center, Lakewood, CA

Scalable, the Quadwall system can be configured with additional insulation, UL-rated Class A or B fire rated roof assembly, sound reduction, dynamic shading, additional structural performance or even military forced entry resistance as well.

Today, visitors to the Lakewood Center enjoy an enhanced shopping experience, as high quality light streams through the new CPI Daylighting Quadwall panels.

I definitely see a difference in the way the interior light looks from the old skylight to the new Quadwall. It’s much brighter without any glare. Now, that’s what we were looking to achieve!

Scott Cleveland, Operations Manager, Lakewood Center, Lakewood, CA

Removable Skin Technology Utilized at Seattle Public Utility South Transfer Station

Seattle’s Public Utility’s South Transfer Station Earns Gold LEED with Removable Skin Technology

Seattle Public Utility used CPI Daylighthing’s Quadwall® sky and wall light to earn Gold LEED status on their new 33,000 square foot South Transfer Station. The Quadwall offers 40% light transmission without any additional artificial lighting on an average Seattle day. And because SPU processes up to 700,000 tons of trash annually, every detail counts.

We were very concerned about hot spots and glare temporarily blinding equipment operators with light and we haven’t seen any of that [with the Quadwall]. The natural light has been a big help and improved color recognition. We have a lot of heavy equipment and customers moving around and it’s better everyone.

Facilities Program Manager Jeff Neuner, SPU

Quadwall is a system of two independent translucent insulated panels, resulting in one integrated, high-performance daylighting system. Quadwall is the only system that can provide indefinite building envelope protection with its advanced RST — Removable Skin Technology.

What Is Removable Skin Technology?

This product has the ability to remove the outer skin without disturbing the inner portions of the building. For instance, a bad storm hits and debris damages some of the panels. To repair the building, you only need to remove and replace the damaged exterior panels. The interior panels are left in place and maintains the safety of the people and operations inside the building.

Being able to include a lot of daylight in the facility means that we’re not relying on the electric lighting.

Sian Roberts, The Miller/Hull Partnership

Quadwall can also be configured with additional insulation, FM-Rated Class A/B fire-rated roof assembly, sound reduction, dynamic shading, additional structural performance or even military forced entry resistance. Joined mechanically, Quadwall does not use vulnerable adhesives, for long term durability and performance. Quadwall’s nanocell technology creates even light distribution and removes glare.

This is a huge upgrade for Seattle Public Utilities to have even distribution and good quality of light to operate in. Per code, the South Transfer Station was required to meet FM-rated Class B roof construction. With a proprietary insert, the scalable Quadwall was the only solution.

CPI had the right balance – what we needed for the Class B roof and the level of quality we were looking for with the price we could afford.

Sian Roberts, The Miller/Hull Partnership

The mechanically interlocking connection was a bonus for South Transfer, helping to seamlessly integrate the sky and wall lights with the building’s exterior metal paneling.

Richmond Olympic Oval Is Awarded with IAKS/IOC All Time Award

New Oval Feature

The Richmond Olympic Oval Is Only North American Sports Facility Awarded with IAKS/IOC All Time Award

The Richmond Olympic Oval, the signature venue from the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games – and a venue that has 63,000 sq. ft. of CPI’s Quadwall® – has received the All Time Award from the International Association of Sports and Leisure Facilities (IAKS) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) – an award reserved for landmark sports facilities from the past half-century.

Olympic Oval

I don’t think this is anything close to an (overstatement) – this building has no equal anywhere in the world. No building in Olympic history looks anything like this and will do anything like this.
John Furlong, CEO – VANOC

The All Time Award is only awarded once every 50 years, in conjunction with IAKS 50th anniversary, and will not be awarded again until 2065. The Richmond Oval is the only award winner in North America, and is only one of ten to win.

Olympic-Oval-Gym

We have always been remarkably proud of the visionary work that helped make the Richmond Olympic Oval a stand out facility during the 2010 Games, a cultural treasure for the community and region in the years since, and now with this award from IAKS, one of the best sports facilities of our time.
CannonDesign Principal Ken Wiseman

The Richmond Olympic Oval is the first speed skating facility ever designed with long term use in mind. Built within a new urban revitalization project in Richmond, BC, it continues to enrich and support the community as a sports community center and international sports venue.

Olympic-Oval-Skate

Speed skating venues face significant hurdles after olympic games, their size, specific use, and cost of operations make maintaining them long term problematic.

The Richmond Oval was designed for multi-sport use and convertibility. The main space allows for both ice sports to operate with other sports or community uses simultaneously, and it can always be reverted to a speed skating oval at any time. To keep operating costs down, the building was designed for and achieved LEED Silver status, aided by the inclusion of CPI Quadwall to provide both daylighting and insulation.

Read further on the architect’s, Cannon Design, website here:

Richmond Olympic Oval

Richmond Olympic Oval Recognized