Ts'kw'aylaxw Cultural and Community Health Centre

Type of Building
Community & Recreation
1,800 sq. m.
Unison Architecture Ltd.
Structural Engineer
Equilibrium Consulting Inc.
Construction Manager
Mierau Contractors Ltd.
Project Owner
Ts’kw’aylaxw First Nation
Wood Supplier
BC Passive House
Glue-laminated timber (glulam), Nail-laminated timber (NLT), Plywood, Millwork, Paneling

Project Overview

The Ts’kw’aylaxw Cultural and Community Health Centre is a multi-purpose facility, serving the Ts’kw’aylaxw First Nation as a community and health centre and gathering place. Passive house design and prefabrication were chosen as solutions to regional building operation and serviceability issues of high hydro bills and mould. The building envelope’s design significantly reduces the electricity required to operate the community hub.  The superstructure was built off-site in a factory in a controlled environment while the secondary components including framing, finishing and concrete work were done on-site with aid from the local skilled labour force.

Maximal wood inclusion was requested as the First Nation community sought to use sustainable materials which would align with their design principles.

Wood Use

Wood’s presence is extensive throughout the three storeys of the cultural and community health centre. The first floor is comprised of Douglas-fir glue-laminated timber (glulam) columns and prefabricated light wood frame panels. Featured on the second floor are glulam beams, nail-laminated decking, and wood fibre acoustic panels. Birch veneer plywood and acoustic panels are part of the middle floor’s multi-purpose space. An aspen feature wall is on the third floor in the Elders’ cylinder gathering space. The three levels are connected by a circulation atrium with hemlock paneling and a glulam gird supporting a veneer curtainwall.

A peeled western red cedar colonnade and soffits, as well as solid birch entrance doors are visible from the exterior of the centre.