Steve Palmier Architecture

Telus House - William Farrell Building
Vancouver, BC




TELUS House was conceived to revitalize an existing tired old structure and created a powerful corporate presence for the company in Vancouver. This included extensive interior and exterior renovations of approximately 130,000 square feet of office and equipment space. Rather than demolish the existing 9-storey tower, it was decided to upgrade the building seismically and recycle it into offices, which saved landfill and energy, and also established the telecommunications company as a leader in environmental sustainability. The exterior revitalization was realized by an open, layered and sophisticated new ‘skin’ enveloping the old building shell.


The double skin on the exterior acts as a greenhouse in the winter and natural ventilating chimney in summer thus reducing the cooling and heating loads. Fritted ceramic glazing was designed to shade the interior from solar gain; operable windows for user friendly operation; interior light shelves to bounce natural light deeper into plan. The second skin created the first double-wall/triple-skinned green building solution in Canada while adhering to TELUS’ green mandate.


A new raised access floor allows for flexibility and to allow user control over their environment, while the existing thermal concrete mass is used to moderate the thermal environment. Photo-voltaic fans, powered directly by solar gain assist the natural ventilation at top of greenhouse. Most importantly, the building reuses waste heat from the existing refrigeration plant and is thus heat free.

Steve Palmier was Senior Architect and leading a team of 4 architects on the project responsible for all duties from design, permitting, construction and client communications.

This project was completed by and while working at Busby + Associates from 1997 to 2000.

Structural Engineers: RJC – Mechanical Engineers: KEEN – Code Consultant: Pioneer – Contractor: Dominion.

Completion: 2000

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