The District of Houston is looking for a design for a new community hall that fits in with the nature surrounding the area, says its leisure services director.
With a design and cost estimate contract now let to BV Engineering Services of Smithers, the goal is for a natural facade and overall design incorporating the “wood first” policy adopted by council in 2000, says Tasha Kelly.
“As a new municipal facility, these guiding design philosophies will be used through the conceptual design process to produce a design conducive to Houston’s “naturally amazing” outdoor spaces and reflect those in our community’s core area,” she said.
The 2000 policy calls for District construction tenders and responses to requests for proposals to “specify wood construction” or include a wood option.
“It is in the interest of our community and regional economy that the forestry and lumber industries be sustained and expanded,” the policy states.
The design and cost estimate being prepared by BV Engineering Services is the first step toward applying for senior government grants to help finance a majority of the construction costs of a new community hall.
Kelly said the design will also consider the viability of tying in the District’s existing geothermal heat-exchange energy system that’s connected to the arean’s refrigeration plant.
“The system currently draws heat generated by geothermal energy and heat from the refrigeration plant and sends it into the pool as a means of reducing our carbon footprint and reducing heating costs,” she explained.
“Part of the conceptual design under this proposal will assess the viability of expanding on this system to utilize geothermal energy as a heating source, which will site-dependent and cost-dependent.”