Certified as “the most sustainable neighbourhood in the world” by the US Green Building Council (USGBC), Vancouver Olympic Village is a world-leading model. The 14 acre development, with over 20 buildings, was home to 2,100 athletes during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. After the Games, it was converted to a mixed-use community including 1,100 residential units, a community centre, three child care centres, a school, and a community garden and public plaza. This significant project, the largest single-phase development in Canada, was constructed in under three years with a large integrated project team all working together to meet the inflexible deadline.
Glotman•Simpson Consulting Engineers were the principal structural engineers for all the buildings in the community. Structural systems were specific to each individual design challenge. Conventional solutions, such as reinforced concrete slabs, transfer slabs, wall frame beams, piles and raft foundations are featured alongside more technically advanced post-tensioned concrete, long span steel framing, special truss frames and sulphate resistant concrete.
Every level of technology found in common structures can be found in the Olympic Village building community—from a heritage retrofit and seismic upgrade of the timber framed Salt Building (circa 1930), to the specialized design of the solar control window shades found in the residential buildings. The structural material content of Vancouver’s Olympic Village compares favourably with the most economic modern buildings constructed today.
Images: © Bob Matheson