About the Project • Building Overview • Accessibility and Sustainability • Background
About the Project
The FNHA is building a new administration office.
The project brings teams together from across Metro Vancouver locations. The building will be located on Tsleil-Waututh Nation land in North Vancouver, south of Mount Seymour Parkway at the end of Apex Road.
As a first-of-its-kind, province-wide entity founded through the expression of BC First Nations self-determination and health governance, the new FNHA office welcomes and celebrates all First Nations in BC. This project is also part of a long-term goal to move FNHA's operations into First Nations communities. Construction begins summer 2021, with occupancy planned for summer 2023.
The new building will be a five-story administration office, over 9,000 square metres (97,000 square feet) of occupied space, built over two and a half levels of underground parking. The new office will accommodate approximately 350 staff and will be purpose-built to meet FNHA needs.
The building has been designed according to the following principles:
The building structure and foundation design references Coast Salish cultural and building traditions and the deep connection the Tsleil-Waututh people have with their land and waters:
The mass timber structure of the building will sit on a base of concrete forms representing boulders or islands, with the spaces in-between symbolizing the waters that flow around them. The building design will expose as much mass timber as possible.
The exterior of the building references the plankhouse tradition of the Coast Salish and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. Rather than planks, aluminum composite metal cladding will be used.
The landscape will include reconstructed habitat and biodiversity using plants native to North Vancouver. The landscape will work with the sloping site, incorporating a design that includes indigenous and medicinal plants and fosters wellness.
The roof is designed to be solar-ready so that solar panels can be installed in the future.
Other materials used will be selected with priority given to local materials and/or locally-made materials, as well as recycled materials where practical. (Copper and zinc, however, will not be used since runoff from these materials can leach into stormwater and be harmful to salmon that return to spawn in local waterways.)
First Nations art will be incorporated throughout, including a house post at the building's main entrance. The main entrance, along with primary outdoor spaces, will also be wheelchair accessible.
The high performance building will shadow LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold standards, meaning it will be resource-efficient with enhanced environmental and sustainability performance.
The building is also designed to the following standards:
The FNHA has also been selected to participate in the BC government's Mass Timber Demonstration Program. The opportunity to participate in the MTDP provides provincial support to the project, while helping future industry professionals learn how to build with BC's new mass timber wood products, which are sustainable and locally-sourced. As a demonstration project, FNHA will be preparing case studies to share with the design and construction industry.
The FNHA envisioned the need to own an office building from its inception, with business case and initial planning work beginning in 2013.
In 2016, the FNHA went through an extensive Request for Proposals process to secure land for the new building. From these submissions, Tsleil-Waututh Nation's proposal was selected and a 75-year lease was signed in early 2021.
A groundbreaking and cultural ceremony took place spring 2021 in partnership with Tsleil-Waututh First Nation.
Construction began summer 2021 with occupancy planned for summer 2023.
Ceremonial and cultural work will take place throughout construction and an opening ceremony will occur once FNHA has received occupancy.