New medical building to be low impact


Digital Image by Rick Mullen

The Squalicum Creek Medical Arts Centre, located on the corner of Birchwood Avenue and Squalicum Parkway, will incorporate LEED design ideas like a “green roof” and permeable pavement.


A new 42,000-square-foot medical building is in the works for the corner of Birchwood Avenue and Squalicum Parkway near St. Joseph Hospital.

The three-story building is being built by plastic surgery office Novaré and a Lynden-based physical therapy clinic, which will both have offices on the third floor, said project manager Steve Price. The first and second floors are still up for lease, but Price said that finding tenants should not be a problem.

“There’s not much buildable land left around the hospital,” he said, adding that medical office space is in high demand.

The project is undergoing final permit review at the city and could potentially break ground in July, Price said.

One of the factors affecting development on the west side of the hospital is Squalicum Creek, which runs through the area. With 50-foot shoreline buffers along the creek and an area that often floods when the creek is high, much of the 6.65-acre project site is unsuitable for development. Thus, only two acres of the site are being developed.

Since the project is so close to the creek, several LEED design ideas, specifically in the area of stormwater management, have been worked into the project, said the project’s architect Dave Christensen.

For example, permeable pavement will be used for parking and walkways and the building will have a “green roof,” which uses plants to soak up rainwater.

The roof was also designed with solar panels in mind, Christensen said, and other energy-efficient designs were worked into the building.

Though many LEED principles were used in the project, the owners are not going pursue LEED certification for the building because it is expensive and they already have the peace of mind knowing that their building was designed to meet such standards, Christensen said.

This is becoming common among projects designed for owner occupancy, he added.

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