Canadian Consulting Engineer

Vancouver’s Wavefront Centre earns Canada’s highest accessibility rating

The building is intended to showcase universal design.

November 4, 2020  By CCE

Wavefront Centre for Communication Accessibility reception

Photos courtesy Wavefront Centre for Communication Accessibility.

Vancouver’s new Wavefront Centre for Communication Accessibility head office has achieved the highest national accessibility rating to date under the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification (RHFAC) program.

With a score of 96 out of a possible 100 points, the building has earned RHFAC at the gold level, setting a new Canadian benchmark for accessibility in the built environment. The program rates a facility’s level of “meaningful access” based on the overall user experience for people with varying disabilities affecting their mobility, vision and hearing. To date, the program has rated more than 1,300 sites across Canada.

“Wavefront Centre has raised the bar,” says Rick Hansen, the foundation’s founder. “We encourage other organizations to review the accessibility of their buildings and begin to create a more inclusive future for everyone.”

RHFAC professionals praised a number of the centre’s features, including:

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  • rounder, wider corridors for improved sightlines and to allow people to walk side-by-side and face each other when speaking or signing.
  • acoustic baffles, ceiling tiles and wall panels that reduce reverberation and improve sound absorption.
  • high-contrast and braille door and wayfinding signs.

As its name suggests, the centre provides services to help break down communication barriers for people who are deaf, deafblind or hard of hearing. The head office, located at 2005 Quebec Street, is intended to showcase universal design for clients, employees and the community.

Local firms that were involved in the project include Aqua-Coast Consulting Engineers (building envelope), Fluid Mechanical Engineering (mechanical), Opal Engineering (electrical), Wicke Herfst Maver (WHM) Structural Engineers (structural), Protection Engineering (building code consulting), DENV Engineers (sprinklers) and Bunt & Associates (transportation engineering).

Wavefront Centre for Communication Accessibility corridor


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1 Comment » for Vancouver’s Wavefront Centre earns Canada’s highest accessibility rating
  1. MGBA says:

    Thank you Canadian Consulting Engineer for carrying this story. A lot of hard work went into completing this project, and a great collaborative team to make it successful. Full project Credits as follows:

    Base Building Architecture: Mallen Gowing Berzins Architecture (MGBA.com)
    Interior Design: Mallen Gowing Berzins Architecture (MGBA.com)
    TI Contractor: Fusion Projects
    Base Building Contractor: Kindred Construction
    Base Building Developer: Conwest Group
    Real Estate Consultant: Field & Marten Associates
    Electrical Consultant: Opal Engineering
    Mechanical Consultant: Fluid Mechanical
    Branding & Signage: Harc Creative & Early Creative
    Code Consultant: Protection Engineering
    Base Building Structural: Wicke Herfst Maver Structural Engineers
    Base Building Envelope: Aqua-Coast Consulting Engineering
    Landscape: PMG Landscape Architects

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