Behind the Project: Stanley Park Brewing
Paul Creighton is a Senior Project Director based out of our Vancouver office. Recently, we sat down with Paul to discuss his team’s building envelope work on the Stanley Park Brewing restaurant.
Thank you for sitting down with us today, Paul. Can you tell us a bit of background on the project?
Sure, so right off the bat, it’s important to know that the site for this project is actually an historic building, known to Vancouverites most recently as The Fish House (since 1991). The building was first opened in 1930 as the Sports Pavilion and served as a club house for those who used the park’s tennis and golf facilities.
The brewery was created in response to a need to revitalize the site following the end of a lease in 2015. It’s super cool because its located on the Park boundary on the edge of the city and overlooks a treed and grassy lawn facing Second Beach and English Bay.
We provided building envelope services on the project and had the unique challenge of maintaining the historic structure – minimizing inappropriate alteration and retaining as much of the original fabric as possible – while enclosing multiple uses like a restaurant, brewery, public washrooms, and park and club storage areas. Introducing a micro-brewery also meant more heat and humidity outputs – which is a definite challenge from an envelope perspective.
Since we came in after the design phase, we had to come up with practical solutions to work with what had been decided or missed. This included thermal considerations, rain-driven exterior moisture, and interior humidity.
Sounds like between coming in late in the game and working with such an old building there would be some challenges present. Can you share a few key problems that came up and how you solved them?
One of the biggest challenges was that, while the existing building had functioned as a restaurant, it wasn’t ever a brewery. To convert it to a brewery, hundreds of new penetrations through the roof and the walls were needed to create vents and vent stacks. This meant going through cedar shingle walls and cedar shake roof with 90-year old building paper.
We dealt with this challenge by ensuring we kept up regular visits to the site. We also worked to ensure we had close communication with the architect and developed a good relationship with the contractor. While the contractor wasn’t always receptive to our insistence on fixing something, we were usually able to demonstrate why doing so was important.
Having come onto the project after the design was felt to be complete, another challenge was dealing with unknown conditions and areas that the design documents had not contemplated. Dealing with the challenges arising from this was obviously done on a case-by-case basis, and there were lots of cases.
One example that might illustrate several aspects at once, would be the take-away area. The main restaurant has three indoor dining areas, two large outdoor patios, and a kitchen. Additionally, a summer-time take-out window was later added at the rear of the building to serve cyclists, walkers, tennis players, and pitch-n-putt enthusiasts.
The window is a seasonally run small food prep and storage area with large windows that open to expose the serving counter. The City wanted a Passive House certified window, the architect specified an excellent window but it wasn’t available in the size and type of operation the owner wanted for the space, and the contractor had already begun preparing the opening for their preferred window, which did not meet even the least level of water resistance.
In helping to solve this problem, we had to consider the seasonal interior and exterior environments, the exposure and use, and the relevant Codes. In the end, working with the architect we selected a window that met the owners’ needs and the needs of the envelope. Ultimately, the City and the contractor were convinced of the appropriateness of the choice.
That truly is collaboration and problem-solving at its finest! What was your favorite part about the project?
I love historic buildings. Working on a landmark, well-used and well-loved building in Stanley Park was super exciting for me!
So great. Any final thoughts?
Another cool thing about working on this project is that – at least pre-COVID – I get to visit it with our whole Entuitive team.
Post-COVID, I’ve visited with the family, since you can get take-out and socially distance picnic on the lawn in front.
Thanks for sitting down with us, Paul. We know where we’re headed the next time we’re in Vancouver!