studioHuB architects were the Prime Consultant for the design and construction of a biomass plant that serves a middle school in Squamish, BC. This biomass plant is a unique opportunity to contribute to the school district infrastructure and goal of implementing sustainable and renewable energy throughout the school facilities.
The biomass plant is a hybrid installation that can support both wood chips and pellets, and the structure houses a fuel silo, the mechanical plant, electrical room, field house storage and a secured covered outdoor area for student gathering and collaboration.
While this small-scale project is industrial in nature, we asked the question: “Can the building be more than just a mechanical enclosure?” The result is an attractive, cost effective project that can simultaneously serve multiple functions and user groups. Rather than hide the industrial technology in an unattractive shell, the biomass plant becomes a teaching tool. The biomass plant building components will be assembled o site, and the full assembly of the structure will occur in-situ.
Durable, non-combustible materials were enhanced with a bold colour palette and the outdoor classroom was clad with locally sourced wood.