Sandycove Acres is a planned community in Innisfil, just south of Barrie. To meet the needs of a growing community the owners decided to build an addition which could take advantage of the service facilities in the existing Wheel building but also give them smaller more flexible community halls and provide wheelchair accessibility to both buildings.

The challenge was to design an extremely efficient building that would work in concert with the existing building, which has a very idiosyncratic form. Owner objectives included a 50 to 100 year life span, inexpensive operation and low maintenance. To this end, the walls are ICF (Insulated Concrete Forms) from footing to eave providing high insulation values.

The central solid masonry wall is the structural spine of the building designed to capture solar radiation and latent interior heat to act as a Trombe wall aided by exterior windows, clerestory windows and skylights. These windows also contribute to daylight harvesting. Hollow Core slab floors provide large column free spans as well as act as thermal heat sinks in winter and cooling agents in summer.

The addition has two floors with the lower floor providing a large space for a dance studio and fitness area with support amenities. The ground floor has a wheelchair accessible entrance to a main lobby and connecting link. The majority of the ground floor is a 3,000 sq.ft. hall with a sprung wood floor that can be split into two equal sized rooms. The main feature is the 2-storey high stone clad Trombe wall shared by the halls and the skylit lobby.

Photography by: Sean O’Reilly and Shane Fester