Pride of Elkford

Elkford’s new administrative centre is a beautiful workplace and part of a developing community hub

by
Cover Architectural Collaborative Inc. of Nelson, B.C., produced this concept rendering of the proposed District office for Elkford, B.C.

Cover Architectural Collaborative Inc. of Nelson, B.C., produced this concept rendering of the proposed District office for Elkford, B.C. — Photo courtesy District of Elkford

As this magazine goes to press, the District staff in Elkford will be moving into a brand new “mountain modern” workplace. The just-finished District office was designed by architect Lukas Armstrong of Cover Architectural Collaborative Inc. in Nelson, B.C., and constructed by Scott Builders Inc. of Red Deer, Alberta.

“This is the kind of work that Cover Architecture really loves to do,” said Armstrong. “It’s a project that lends to the vibrancy and growth of the community. We like to keep the money local, create employment opportunities for local contractors and labour, and create buildings and projects that are sensitive to the local context.

“The village is interested in creating good public space and expressing that Elkford is more than just a resource town. It’s a place where people can make their homes and their lives.”

Ron Brouwers of Scott Builders was the site supervisor for the project. “I thought it was an excellent project—one of the better ones I’ve done just because of the people I got to deal with,” he said. “The town, the contractors and the labour—everybody was really helpful. It was a nice change to work with people in a small community, and I’d absolutely welcome working on more projects like this.”

“Elkford has been a leader in climate change awareness,” said Scott Beeching, director of planning and development services for the District of Elkford, “so it was particularly important to make the district office a green building.”

Scott Beeching, director of planning and development, District of Elkford — Photo courtesy District of Elkford

The district office is a Step Code 3 building, which is the highest possible step for a commercial building in the B.C. Energy Step Code. It will use 20 per cent less energy than a conventionally built structure of this type and size, and solar panels will provide 30 to 40 per cent of its required energy. Use of solar panels was enabled with funding from the Solar Now program through Clean Energy Canada and the North Growth Foundation, and from Columbia Basin Trust.

“This will be very good for our community pride,” said Beeching. “When council made its design choice, it considered the work environment for the District employees and the reaction of residents when they come into the building. The building shares a parking lot with the new Elkford Community Conference Centre, so there is a campus type of feeling.”

The building features timber beams and lots of natural light, and has doors, washrooms and lowered counters that are easily accessible to people of diverse ability levels. 

Occupancy of the new District office in Elkford will take place in April 2019. Landscaping will be addressed as the weather allows. — Photo courtesy District of Elkford

“The mayor insisted that we have a water fountain and washrooms available to the public,” said Beeching, “and we have a quiet space at the front where people can get out of the weather and where we can meet with people away from the traffic flow.”

Thanks to a grant from the Union of B.C. Municipalities, the new office has a natural gas generator so that the building can be used as an emergency operations centre should the need arise.

Marie Milner

Marie Milner is a writer and photographer for Kootenay Business magazine and several other publications. She appreciates the inspiration that she gets during her interviews and hopes to share that inspiration with you. View all of Marie Milner’s articles

Related articles

Business Beat, East Kootenay, West Kootenay, Entertainment and Hospitality, Tourism New website connects resort-based employers and job-seekers looking for their next working holiday

Understaffing at ski resorts and towns is a chronic problem and new website aims to help alleviate that shortage

by Julie Matchett
Business Beat, East Kootenay, Invermere, Entertainment and Hospitality With the Dragons slayed, Invermere’s Taynton Bay Spirits strives for world domination

A successful deal with the Dragons' Den inspires small-town craft distillery Taynton Bay Spirits to aim higher

by Julie Matchett
East Kootenay, Cranbrook, Small Business Kootenay author lets down her (bug-filled) hair

Riki Unrau, children’s author and owner of Soul Bird Studio in Cranbrook, B.C., has released a new book, Bethany Blair and the Bugs in her Hair

by
View all East Kootenay articles

Comments