The Salt Building

Vancouver B.C. ● Featured

The historic Salt Building is a Southeast False Creek landmark. Owned by the City of Vancouver and managed by the City’s Real Estate Services Department, the building underwent a major restoration leading up to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, where it was turned into a gathering place for athletes in the heart of Olympic Village.

Restoration involved intricate renovation challenges that included raising the building, seismic upgrades and challenges to design to modern environmental standards all while maintaining its 1930’s heritage construction and feel. Restoring the building, which was initially home to the historic Vancouver Salt Co. Ltd., involved a great deal of effort to re-use its existing timber. While much of the buildings original wood timber remained in good condition, after decades of industrial use, most of the steel sections had deteriorated and needed replacement. WoodWORKS® software was utilized to review requirements for existing materials and to examine the capacity of existing wood.

Inside the 14,000 square foot Salt Building, elaborate roof trusses that support the structure remain visible within a large, open space. These wooden tresses were reinforced with simple yet elegant steel plates for connections. Steel braces were added to provide lateral bracing in a minimal footprint. Ceiling framing that had been previously removed was replaced in its original form and format. Additionally, the building was raised on its original timber piles, supported by special galvanized steel pile extensions placed on each wooden pile.

The final result is a look and feel that celebrates the construction methods of our forefathers during the early years of Vancouver.  The Salt Building has received Heritage B certification and has also won the Canadian Wood Council’s WoodWORKS Green Building Award and the Canadian Institute of Planners Award for Planning Excellence.

Presently, the Salt Building is a central landmark in Vancouver’s Olympic Village and is currently occupied by a community hot spot, Craft Beer Market.

Images: © Bob Matheson