Skwo:wech Elementary School

New Westminster, BC

This 45,000 sq. ft. new elementary school is home to more than 410 kindergartener to Grade 5 students. School program includes an independently operated daycare centre and StrongStart Early Learning centre.

The building is built on a steep sloped hill and significant portion of the building is set inside the hill. The school’s rooftop is visible from surrounding neighborhood. These conditions made it challenging to place HVAC units on the roof and inside the building. Raymond conceptualized and designed decentralized air-to-water heat recovery system where the heat recovery units were hidden above storage room ceiling spaces. A small mechanical well is used to house outdoor air unit and modular vertical air source heat pumps to lower greenhouse gas emissions.  

Classroom in-floor radiant heat system was chosen for comfort and to utilize low grade heat recovered from heat recovery units. Ceiling mounted displacement diffusers were designed to promote air circulation and avoided thickening of partition walls to house low wall displacement ventilation diffusers. Simplified classroom demand control ventilation system control strategy reduced cost and made the system more user friendly.  

Skwo:wech Elementary School project achieved 40%+ energy savings compared to reference building.

Raymond Cho was the mechanical lead for this project while at S+A Vancouver.