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BEAT

Location: Vancouver, Canada

Status: In Progress

On one of the largest undeveloped areas in the downtown peninsula sits Creative Energy’s steam district utility system. Located in Downtown Vancouver, the development of the surplus lands surrounding the plant is necessary to help fund the growth and development of Creative Energy’s district energy networks, create new low-carbon sources of energy and upgrade the infrastructure of the existing plant which is now 50 years old. Most importantly, the redevelopment of this site supports a broader neighbourhood vision for Vancouver in this gateway site into Downtown.

There are few sites capable of housing large office floorplates that will draw creative economy tenants into Vancouver. This redevelopment proposes almost 600,000 sqft of large floorplate office space on top of the existing steam plant, which during the redevelopment will be upgraded to current codes and standards for enhanced resiliency.

At grade, the redevelopment features retail and entertainment uses within a new public plaza surrounded by large scale sports, culture and entertainment venues such as BC place, Rogers Arena and the new Vancouver Art Gallery.

 

Creative Energy’s existing steam plant is located at 720 Beatty in Vancouver. The plant is now 50 years old and is requiring upgrades to its existing infrastructure. The existing plant sits on top of one of Downtown Vancouver’s largest undeveloped sites and is located adjacent to the Georgia Street viaducts. The City of Vancouver intends to remove the viaducts and connect Georgia Street directly down to Pacific Street which will create a new gateway and ceremonial street into Downtown Vancouver. This site has the opportunity to be redeveloped into a new gateway building at this new entry point into Downtown.

The proposed redevelopment offers almost 600,000 sqft of office space on top of the existing steam plant. The redevelopment will allow Creative Energy to upgrade their existing infrastructure to increase resiliency and redundancy in their system, inclusive of the creation of a new off-site plant at the base of BC Place Stadium.

The undulating shape of the building maximizes the size of the floorplate which is attractive to creative economy tenants, while also maximizing access to natural light for the interior occupants.

Since the redevelopment will encompass the existing steam plant, there is essential infrastructure that will run through the redevelopment such as the stacks from the boilers. Rather than just covering up the Creative Energy infrastructure, the redevelopment will celebrate it.
This view inside the office lobby features the stacks from the plant below running through the ceiling space.

Located adjacent to the large sports venues of BC Place Stadium and Rogers arena, the building sits at the transition point between the entertainment district and Downtown Vancouver’s CBD.

The public realm will be animated with retail, a breezeway running underneath the building and a new public plaza.

The new public plaza between the building and BC Place will allow the public to look down into Creative Energy’s plant below.

Creative Energy is a neighbourhood energy leader that owns and operates one of the largest district energy networks in Canada. Located in Downtown Vancouver, Creative Energy’s system serves over 210 buildings through 14 kilometres of underground pipe.

In Canada and internationally, neighbourhood energy systems are inherently more environmentally friendly than large-scale energy grids, making them vital to our efforts to mitigate climate change. In a dense downtown neighbourhood, the Creative Energy system means there is only one central ‘boiler system’ instead of over hundreds of individual boilers systems resulting in cleaner air, lower greenhouse gas emissions, long-term sustainability, and lower energy costs for a large portion of the community.

A view from Beatty Street looking Northeast towards the breezeway underneath the building.

Once the Georgia Street viaducts are removed, this redevelopment will become a gateway building into Downtown Vancouver.

The existing steam headers from Creative Energy’s plant cannot be moved so the redevelopment will celebrate this interface with the new public plaza and sidewalks.

The building will feature 35,000 sqft office floorplates for creative economy tenants.

In order to redevelop over top of the existing plant, Creative Energy intends to build a new satellite plant across the street at the base of BC Place Stadium. This will make Creative Energy’s system more redundant and resilient.