The False Creek Energy Centre (FCEC) is an innovative Neighborhood Energy Utility (NEU) that produces thermal energy for the Southeast False Creek Development area including the 2010 Olympic Athletes Village. It is Vancouver’s first renewable energy based district heating system and also the first wastewater-powered heat-recovery system in North America.
Similar to geo-exchange, thermal energy is captured from local untreated sewage by a heat pump and is transferred into the district loop where it is utilized by each building for space heating and domestic hot water production. The FCEC building is also a mid-stream sewer-pumping station, a vital piece of city infrastructure. The building has four levels: two underground basements, a main level at grade, and an equipment mezzanine level. A control/Interpretive centre is located on the main level.
A fundamental component of this project is the envisioned potential for public education. The transparent façade; landscaping and public signage seeks to engage street level pedestrian activity from the neighbouring residential developments and the adjacent Olympic Village Station.
To facilitate excavation and construction of the facility, a seismic retrofit to the adjacent Cambie Street bridge pier foundations was deemed necessary. Thurber developed the retrofit strategy and completed detailed design of inclined micropiles installed through the existing pile caps. During construction, Thurber provided full-time field reviews and technical support for micropile installation and testing.