Pemberton Community Centre


7390 Cottonwood Street

Pemberton, British Columbia

Content Type
  • Building
Building area
2,040 m2
Completion Date
Spring 2008
Certifications & Awards
  • Silver Award of Excellence from the Vancouver Regional Construction Association
Project Team
  • Client: Village of Pemberton; Squamish Lillooet Regional District
  • Architect: DYS Architecture
  • Project Manager: RMT Contracting
  • Mechanical and Electrical Consultants: Jain International
  • Funders: Canada/BC Infrastructure Program


Key Sustainability Features

  • Geothermal system with variable refrigerant flow heating and cooling
  • Water and energy conservation
  • Passive design
  • Locally-sourced materials and trades

Within easy walking distance of the town core, the Pemberton Community Centre is a multi-use facility housing the Pemberton and District Public Library as well as a Community and Fitness Centre. It incorporates state-of-the art building technology and design in order to maximize energy efficiency and enhance the quality and flexibility of the community space.


Due to hot summers and cold winters in the Pemberton area, the design of energy efficient heating and cooling systems was of particular concern for the Pemberton Community Centre project. Following passive design strategies and principles, the building is oriented to take full advantage of natural ventilation, as manifest by the vaulted central atrium with clerestory windows. This, in combination with windows that can be opened, allows the building to breathe naturally, reducing the need for mechanical ventilation or air-conditioning. The central circulation spine in the building gives access to all of the building functions, and also enhances natural ventilation by serving as a chimney. The Great Hall is fitted with large windows that retract like garage doors, creating an open archway onto a large outdoor patio, and inviting guests to enjoy the spectacular mountain views.

For the most part, all interior spaces of the facility are design in an open-concept way, facilitating adaptation of the space for different future uses.

The building utilizes geothermal heating and cooling to reduce energy use, and to provide a cost-effective climate-smart energy source over the long-term. Adjacent public open space contains the horizontal ground loop, which provides energy for heating and cooling.  The ground loop feeds several heat exchanger units, which transfer the energy to a variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system. This system serves the building through computer-controlled BC Manifolds in several zones.  The BC Manifolds system can provide heating and cooling simultaneously and transfers energy between different zones, thereby automatically providing heating and cooling when and where needed without adding demand to the system overall. This system is particularly well suited to buildings such as the Pemberton Community Centre with large spaces that have different levels of occupancy, and thus varying heating and cooling demands.

The building is equipped with low-flow faucets, showerheads, and dual flush toilets to reduce water consumption. Interior finishing materials were acquired from “green” suppliers. They include linoleum flooring constructed from all natural products with natural anti-bacterial properties, reducing the need for chemical cleansers; low VOC paint; and low-emissivity (low-e) windows that minimize the effects of direct sunlight by reflecting radiant infrared (heat) energy while letting visible light pass through.


Wherever possible, locally-sourced building materials, including concrete, structural steel and heavy timbers, along with local trades were used for construction. The Community Centre is a symbol of the Pemberton’s commitment to sustainability and attracts investment in the region because it shows investment in the community and its amenities. Green supply chains are supported by the use of local, environmentally conscious suppliers.

“Green” technology and products were provided by local companies including: Whistler Geothermal Ltd.; GML Mechanical Ltd.; and Local Trades Teams.


The Community Centre is a multi-use building that creates a focal point for the community. The open design and layered programming facilitate vibrant interaction among people as they use and walk through the space. It also provides the community with a place for large gatherings, celebrations and events, which had been missing before.

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