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University of the Fraser Valley Dining Hall Addition

  • Client
    University of the Fraser Valley
  • Location
    Abbotsford, BC
  • Completion


Thinkspace was retained by the University of the Fraser Valley to provide prime consultant services to assist with a renovation to the existing main dining facility. A 398 bed student housing project is anticipated to be constructed on campus, driving the need for an increased kitchen, servery, and a targeted new dining hall capacity to seat 350. The new work here proposed will result in an increase of 378m2 of dining area on two interconnected levels. 

The proposed facility will further exemplify the values and objectives of accessibility and comfort; culturally appropriate design that incorporates Indigenization; a wide variety of services; and a magnet for student life. It will also have a significant sustainability component. 

Together with leadership from the University of the Fraser Valley, the Dining Hall addition project team made the decision early in the project’s development to act sustainably and to minimize the carbon footprint of this new work. The existing campus food delivery services reside in a three story building comprised of post tensioned concrete floor and roof slabs on a concrete frame dating from 1983. A 1993 concrete framed addition accommodates a student dining hall seating and congregation area. 

Today’s new dining hall extension will expand the food delivery service area within the original building outline, and increase the seating capacity of the dining hall not only on the original floor area, but as well on a new second level – resulting in an inviting, inclusive, and comfortable campus centre facility for the benefit of students and staff.  This project directly endeavours to maintain the existing 1983 and 1993 concrete elements in place – the 1993 concrete roof deck now providing an opportunity for the new floor level. 

Except for an existing exterior concrete staircase as well as some 1993 roof parapets, existing concrete within this building will be retained and reused.  Further, a new structural system of mass timber will provide the shell to expand the floor area and span across to support a new roof deck comprised of 175mm cross-laminate timber (CLT), bearing on CLT and glulam columns. 

Extensive use of CLT wall panels will provide the structural lateral stability of the new addition, and curtain wall glazing will complete the remainder of the new envelope.  The substantial reuse of existing concrete retained together with the employment of mass timber structural and envelope systems result in a minimally embodied carbon solution.