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Whistler Conference Centre renovation update


January sees foundations set; new entranceway, roof scheduled for March

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

By Doug Stackhouse, Director, Facility & Event Operations, Tourism Whistler

With the deconstruction phase of the Whistler Conference Centre complete, the project is now well into the re-construction stage with building foundations in process.

Just as deconstruction included innovative practices resulting in more than 90 per cent of waste diverted from Whistler landfill – 1,700 tons of concrete, 32 tons of reinforcing steel, and 4.5 tons of carpet were recycled – the project team continues to implement construction practices that reduce impact on the environment.

Eco-Smart Concrete has come on board to work on the new foundations and is using the conference centre project as a case study to develop concrete mixes that are high in "flyash" content. The concrete mix for this project will use flyash in place of one-third of the traditional "cement" ingredient. Flyash is a by-product of coal-fired production plants. By using flyash, the project avoids contributing to carbon dioxide emissions that result from cement production.

Currently, structural steel columns are being erected in the atrium to support the new concrete "suspended slab" creating the foundation of the future Great Room pre-function area. February will be spent pouring concrete topping, doing concrete finishes and mechanical and electrical services to the new meeting rooms and pre-function space.

Another new process, "corn blasting," has been used to remove old stains and finishes from the existing glulam beams and entire ceiling in the Sea and Sky Ballrooms. Corn is a renewable resource and can be re-used up to four times, reducing the cost and extraction of other non-renewable resources.

In March, the conference centre construction activity will start to become visible from the outside when front entrance construction commences including the glulam beam framing, windows and skylights. The roof replacement will also begin in March featuring a new reflective metal roof that meets "green" building guidelines. All materials from the old roof will be recycled.

The conference centre renovation project is registered with the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System. LEED is an industry designation established by the U.S. Green Building Council. The Whistler Conference Centre project is working toward gold status. Environmentally sustainable materials and practices are being used throughout the renovation including the deconstruction and construction methods, the reflective roof, a high-efficiency lighting system and leading-edge design features.

The renovated Whistler Conference Centre will re-open in the fall featuring a new grand entranceway, larger ballroom and pre-function area, and additional meeting rooms, as well as updated telecommunications, and a business centre. The 65,000-square-foot facility will include more than 40,000 square feet of total meeting space for up to 2,000 delegates, and have the capacity to accommodate up to five simultaneous meetings.

Parking Availability:

Lower (underground): All spaces are now available.

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

More information:

For more information please contact Tourism Whistler (604-932-3928):

Doug Stackhouse, Director, Facility and Event Operations

Shannon Story, Manager Member Experience

Visit for a virtual tour of the exterior of the renovated conference centre.

Upcoming Construction Highlights:

Building foundations: November, 2002-January, 2003

Structural steel framing/entranceway heavy timber framing: January-May 2003

Glazing/skylights: March-April 2003

Roof Replacement: March-April 2003

Interior finishes: April-September 2003

Landscaping: June 2003

Roof landscaping: July 2003

Exterior finishes: June-August 2003

Re-opening: Oct. 1, 2003

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