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Whistler Conference Centre Renovation Update:

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Deconstruction complete featuring waste diversion from landfill

This is the first in a series of columns focusing on the Whistler Conference Centre renovation project. The year-long renovation began in October 2002.

By Doug Stackhouse

Most Whistlerites have likely walked by the Whistler Conference Centre in the past month or so to see the hoarding surrounding the building, and hear a range of construction sounds emerging from within.

The year-long renovation of the conference centre is well underway, and the project has recently reached its first major milestone with the "deconstruction" complete and the construction phase now in progress. Deconstruction is the process of removing the old unneeded materials to set the stage to build and install the new features of the building.

The big news regarding the deconstruction phase is the team’s outstanding success in diversion of deconstruction "waste" from the landfill. Construction projects, and particularly renovations and deconstruction, are generally one of the largest overall contributors to landfill. The conference centre project has seen more than 80 per cent of removed materials diverted from Whistler landfill.

Some of the highlights of the deconstruction:

• 1,752 tons of concrete were removed and send to Twin Rivers Gravel to be re-used for fill.

• 32 tons of reinforcing steel was removed from the concrete and send to ABC Metal Recycling.

• 4.5 tons of carpet have been removed and recycled.

• Non-functioning mechanical and electrical systems are being removed for salvage and recycling.

• Only one 30-yard bin of waste has gone to the landfill to date.

The waste diversion is the beginning of the journey to building a Whistler Conference Centre that has minimal impact on the environment, both during the construction and throughout the life of the building.

The conference centre renovation project is registered with the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System. LEED is a leading industry designation managed by the U.S. Green Building Council. It has several levels of building certification, and the conference centre project is currently striving for gold status. Environmentally sustainable building materials and practices will continue to be used throughout the renovation.

Tourism Whistler, operator of the Whistler Conference Centre, has committed to the LEED certification as part of its role in Whistler’s progress toward environmental sustainability.

A LEED-certified Whistler Conference Centre would put Whistler in the league of the few "green" conference meeting destinations in the world, which are becoming more and more in demand by public and private sector meetings groups.

Conference business is a major focus of Tourism Whistler’s marketing initiatives on behalf of Whistler. Meetings delegates spend $264 per day, per person (International Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus estimate). In 2001, Whistler Conference Centre business generated 32,000 room nights, and with the newly renovated facility, this number is projected to increase to 100,000 room nights after three years of operation.

Task Construction Management is the construction management company for the Whistler Conference Centre. There is currently a construction crew of 15 people working on the project.

Parking availability:

Lower (underground) parking all spaces will be available as of Dec. 13. Some parking is currently closed for safety reasons.

Upper (pay parking) — Three spaces will be occupied by construction through spring 2003.

More information:

For more information regarding the Whistler Conference Centre renovation, please contact Tourism Whistler (604-932-3928):

Doug Stackhouse, Director Facility & Event Operations

Shannon Story, Manager Member Experience

Visit whistlermeetings.com for a virtual tour of the exterior of the renovated Whistler Conference Centre.

Construction highlights timeline

? Renovation start date — October 1, 2002

? Deconstruction phase October 1-November 29, 2002

Building foundations — November 2002-January 2003

Structural steel framing / entranceway heavy timber  framing — February-May 2003

Glazing/skylights — June 2003

Roof replacement — July 2003

Interior finishes — April-September 2003

Landscaping — June 2003

Roof landscaping — July 2003

Exterior finishes — June-August 2003

Re-opening - October 1, 2003

A weekly construction activity schedule is posted outside of the conference centre.

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