Golden and Area Indoor Aquatic Centre

Location

Golden, BC

Size

3,900m²

Completion

2026

Architect

hcma

Structural Engineer

RJC Engineers

Project Materials

Dowel-laminated timber (DLT)

Glue-laminated timber (Glulam)

Laminated veneer lumber (LVL)

Structural Systems

Hybrid / Other

Hybrid / Wood

This project provides a modern, light-filled aquatic centre to Golden and the surrounding region. Using mass timber, this project aims to meet a Canadian Green Building Council’s (CAGBC) Zero Carbon Building (ZCB) standard to ensure future operations as a zero-emissions building.

  • A highly accessible design that includes a 6-lane, 25-metre lap pool, leisure pool, sauna/steam room, hot pool, and universal change rooms.
  • An expressive and locally sourced mass timber hybrid roof assembly showcasing laminated veneer lumber (LVL) spanning to glue laminated timber (glulam) beams, offering sustainable benefits while reducing carbon emissions and supporting the community’s economic growth.
  • The project aims to meet the ZCB Design Standard administered by the CAGBC and includes a detailed accounting of the aquatic facility’s carbon impact across its life cycle.

An accessible, light-filled indoor aquatic centre to be a hub for community health and wellness

This addition and adaptive reuse of an existing arena facility will provide a modern, light-filled aquatic centre to the town of Golden and the surrounding region, complete with a six-lane, 25-metre lap pool, leisure pool (with a lazy river, tots area, and spray features), sauna/steam room, and hot pool.

The new hybrid concrete, steel, and mass timber building replaces an aging outdoor pool and will provide year-round access for competitive, instructional, therapeutic, and recreational swimming. The team is giving careful attention to designing a facility accessible to all. It will include features like zero-entry, universal change rooms, and other features recommended by the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification program. The facility’s multipurpose room will provide flexible space for various community uses—and the natatorium will include operable doors and a connection to an outdoor patio, allowing for an indoor and outdoor experience during the warmer summer months.

A locally sourced exposed hybrid mass timber roof-design

Key to the vision for the project is to be homegrown. It will proudly reflect the unique character of its place and bring all regional residents together through inclusive recreational activities. As part of this vision, the team plans on prioritizing the use of local materials and methods.

The project features an expressive mass timber hybrid roof assembly comprising laminated veneer lumber (LVL) panels spanning to glue-laminated timber (glulam) beams supported on steel tube columns. The timber will be left exposed, adding warmth to the indoor aquatic environment.

Mass timber was selected for its environmental, economic, and cultural benefits—and is well-suited to the humidity of an aquatic facility. Along with mass timber’s natural, aesthetic appeal, its distinctive organic properties will offer thermal benefits and balance the aquatic facility’s interior moisture. Wood’s relatively low thermal conductivity means it feels warmer than other building materials and provides naturally insulating, non-corrosive benefits.

Designing a healthy, sustainable, zero-carbon aquatic centre

Also key to the vision for this project is to incorporate sustainable best practices. The project aims to meet CAGBC’s ZCB Design Standard—this will provide third-party verification of the carbon impacts of the facility, with the goal of ensuring future operations as a zero-emissions building.

As the team continues to work on the design of the aquatic centre, an initial life cycle assessment (LCA) has been completed to determine the environmental effects of the structural materials. The proposed steel-timber hybrid design solution yielded a five per cent reduction in embodied carbon due to the wood elements and low-carbon concrete compared to a conventional all-steel structure with industry-average concrete. The LCA also evaluated the effect of a complete mass timber structure and determined that a further seven percent (up to 12 percent in total) reduction in carbon emissions could be achieved.

The Mass Timber Demonstration Program (MTDP) provides funding for incremental costs in the design and construction of buildings that showcase emerging or new mass timber and mass timber hybrid building systems and construction processes. The program supports jobs and employment recovery in the design, engineering, construction, and product manufacturing sector. BC industry will benefit from lessons learned, results, and research findings that can help support future mass timber projects in the province. Learn more.

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