Vancouver Olympic Centre/ Vancouver Paralympic Centre — Curling Venue

Managing sediment control to protect water quality

4501 Loranger Way, Vancouver

This project will include the following facilities in legacy mode (post-Games use):

  • Community centre
  • Curling club
  • Queen Elizabeth Park district offices
  • NHL-sized ice arena
  • Library branch
  • Aquatic centre

Of the Vancouver Olympic/Paralympic Centre project, Tom Ng, the Centre’s project manager said, “This facility will be an exceptional curling venue for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. In legacy use, the combination of incorporating sustainable design and amalgamating the aquatic, curling, gymnasium and library activities into one building will make this facility a central gathering place for the community after the Games.”

The venue at Hillcrest / Nat Bailey Stadium Park was subject to Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) approval. VANOC submitted the Environmental Assessment Report on September 8, 2006 to Canadian Heritage (the responsible authority from the Government of Canada), and the project was approved on September 26, 2006.


Choosing Vancouver Olympic/Paralympic Centre at Hillcrest / Nat Bailey Stadium Park as a Venue

As part of the bid process, the need for competition venues was evaluated and existing facilities were analyzed for their potential use. For curling, even though current facilities exist, they were aging and could not accommodate the requirements for spectators and the media.

As a new venue would have to be constructed, the City of Vancouver and the Vancouver Curling Club were consulted for input. It was decided to combine proposed updates for the nearby Percy Norman aquatic centre and a new curling venue into one project to better share resources (including energy) to reduce the footprint of the facility, and to minimize the intrusion that construction might be expected to bring to a public area.

Post-Games Use

Maintaining and protecting trees close to the construction
After the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, the venue’s legacy mode will leave a community centre that houses a curling rink, ice arena, swimming pool, library branch and park offices. The ice sheets provided for recreational use in the curling rink will render the current Vancouver Curling Club obsolete and it is slated for deconstruction after the legacy community centre is opened.

Similarly, the Riley Park Community Centre and its associated parking area are also slated for deconstruction once the legacy community centre is in use. Programs currently conducted in the Riley Park Community Centre will be transferred to the updated, new facility.

Nat Bailey Stadium, the Millennium Sport Facility and the Racquet Club remained operational throughout the construction of the new facility and beyond.

Design Consultation

Part of VANOC’s mission is to deliver an Olympic Games with a lasting legacy. The design of the Vancouver Olympic/Paralympic Centre was made with not only the Olympic and Paralympic Games in mind, but rather the goal was to build something that would continue to inspire a passion for sport and culture.

Public Consultation

One of the larger concerns with the development of this venue was the impact on the local community, given its existing use and proximity to residential areas. The Park Board conducted public consultation in conjunction with the revision of the Riley-Hillcrest-Nat Bailey Stadium Park Master Plan. The Master Plan was revised over 18 months with Park Board staff addressing the concerns of the stakeholders in the project’s design. Discussions with the public ranged from the loss of playing fields during the construction phase to the long-term use of the space.

Four public open houses were held between June 2004 and March 2006. Based on these consultations the following were considered in the project’s design:

  • Riley Park should be greened up and returned to a neighbourhood park character.
  • New buildings should be arranged with existing buildings to create a campus of facilities centered on Nat Bailey Stadium Park.
  • Public gathering spaces should be created, both indoors and outdoors.
  • Greenway connections from the community through the parks to Queen Elizabeth Park should be maintained and enhanced.
  • Ontario Street should be respected and enhanced as a greenway and bikeway.
  • Increased traffic and parking should not be off-loaded into surrounding residential streets.
  • There should be adequate parking in the right locations to meet the demand generated by the new facilities. Parking surfaces should be diverse — hard surface to handle daily requirements; softer and possibly multi-purpose to handle exceptional event loads. Parking should be distributed in various lots, rather than having it all in one area.
  • The park and facility design should meet sustainability standards.
  • The number and quality of playing fields in Hillcrest Park should be maintained for both summer and winter configurations.
  • An expanded branch library should be located with the public recreation facilities.
  • Leisure elements should be included in the aquatics facility program.
  • The principal access point to the site should be from Midlothian Avenue at Clancy Loranger Way.

First Nations Consultation

VANOC initiated communication and consultation with representatives from the Musqueam, Tseil-Waututh, Squamish and Sto: Lo Nations, and intends to continue meeting with the communities on this specific venue. Dialogue may include discussions of economic opportunities, including the addition of art in the venue design.

Legacy of the Environmental Assessment Process

At the start of the project, the environmental assessment concluded that the site had:

  • no known archaeological sites
  • no current traditional land use practices
  • no surface water features or fish-bearing streams
  • no sensitive or rare plants
  • no habitat for sensitive or rare wildlife species

Consideration of the environmental legacy has been incorporated into the design of the overall project; this includes a recreational legacy for public use. At the end of the project, in legacy mode, the site will have:

  • Two-hundred and two new trees planted.
  • No net loss in field space or number.
  • An increase in curling ice and recreational programs.
  • Additional greenway connections and plaza areas.
  • Additional pedestrian and bike paths.
  • Sufficient parking for the facilities, so that surrounding residential streets will not have to absorb parking. The vehicle access is primarily from Midlothian Avenue.

In addition, the new building is located in the centre of the site and is of a height lower than Nat Bailey Stadium. This, combined with focused lighting, provides an aesthetically pleasing use of the space.

Sustainability Features

The project will incorporate several energy conservation strategies designed to minimize the environmental footprint well into the future. These include:

  • refrigeration plant heat recovery
  • domestic hot water reheat
  • ventilation heat recovery
  • high-efficiency condensing boilers
  • high-performance building envelope
  • low-flow water for toilets, showers, sinks and urinals

Energy sources used by the new building include a combination of:

  • rejected heat from refrigeration plant
  • excess heat circulated through hot water buffer tanks
  • electricity
  • natural gas
  • solar (for outdoor pool and domestic hot water)

The building was designed and construction to receive the LEED – Gold Rating in its legacy mode.

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