NELSON, B.C. — The Nelson Civic Centre is getting an energy makeover.
The province announced the facility will receive substantial upgrades to improve its energy efficiency, decrease climate pollution and improve the comfort and lifespan of the building.
“Heritage buildings like the Nelson Civic Centre are part and parcel to the cultural fabric of our communities,” said Harjit Sajjan, federal minister of international development, in a statement. “These upgrades will extend its lifespan, ensuring this striking art deco structure can continue to serve Nelson residents for generations to come.”
Through an investment from the CleanBC Communities Fund, the Civic Centre’s auditorium will receive energy-efficient upgrades to the building envelope, roof, windows, doors and mechanical systems. Currently, the facility’s concrete walls have no insulation, the roof structure has minimal insulation and the air-handling units are outdated, providing air circulation to only some areas of the building.
“We’re working to improve an important community resource by making it more energy efficient and a better, more comfortable space for visitors,” said George Heyman, B.C. minister of environment and climate change strategy. “The Civic Centre is the city of Nelson’s highest-emitting building and requires a significant energy retrofit to bring it to a modern standard. By working with the city and the federal government, we’re accelerating the shift away from fossil fuels toward a net-zero-emissions future and supporting local jobs in the clean economy.”
The building’s exterior walls will be enveloped with an insulated, high-efficiency skin that will reduce energy requirements and protect deteriorating concrete from freeze-thaw cycles. Energy-recovery ventilators and a heat-recovery chiller will provide heating and cooling capacity, reducing dependency on fossil fuels.
Upgrading the 87-year-old heritage building is expected to reduce its natural gas consumption and carbon emissions by approximately two-thirds. The province is providing $2.82 million for the project, with an additional $1 million provided by the federal government and $1.4 million from the City of Nelson.
“The Civic Centre building is a valued cultural and recreational facility that has served our regional community well for almost 90 years since it opened in 1935,” said John Dooley, Nelson’s mayor. “This project will substantially improve the comfort and accessibility of the building, while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Improving the energy performance of our buildings is a key component of NelsonNext, our ambitious climate action plan.”