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Welcomed by a Grizzly Bear

This international airport’s design respects Kelowna’s history and environment while increasing capacity.

Kelowna, British Columbia

Sense of place

Competition for passengers is causing airports to adapt and become recognizable brands. Creating a distinct sense of place is a key part of this goal. Place-making is about giving a facility its own unique character, designing the entire experience with an identity all its own, one that reflects the regional style or context. For YLW we collected local place names to create a welcome collage in the form of a bear – the First Nations meaning of the name Kelowna. And we collected soil samples to ensure the colour palette of a rammed earth wall feature will match the hills outside.

More with less

As a municipality-run facility, YLW was required to meet aggressive provincial targets for CO2 reductions. As part of the overall design of the project, DIALOG completed an energy audit of the existing facilities and an energy model for the new additions. The result of these studies found that even with almost doubling the footprint of the ATB, the overall CO2 emissions could be cut to 60% below the emissions of the existing terminal.

Electrical systems

The electrical distribution system is being completely updated, including emergency systems, by increasing the redundancy of the high voltage network and adding backup power generation for the entire terminal. This will allow the airport to maintain all flight operations during an emergency.

Always up

YLW is embarking on a multiple phase development that will ultimately completely upgrade and double the size of the terminal. Key to the expansion plans is a detailed phasing and sequencing plan (see video below). This will allow all key operations to seamlessly function while public and back-of-house functions are renovated and expanded.

Mechanical systems overhaul

Mechanical systems are also receiving a complete overhaul. Two geothermal fields are planned to support an in floor radiant heating and cooling system. Paired with low velocity displacement ventilation systems and high efficiency equipment upgrades, the design is highly sustainable.

Project facts

Size: 12,544 sq. m./ 135,022 sq. ft.
Cost: $62.4 Million
Completed: 2016 (estimated)

Achievements & Awards

2011
Environment Award, The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia