A demand for high-quality lodgings to accommodate visitors attending the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver led to the development of the luxurious Fairmont Pacific Rim. Situated in downtown Vancouver’s Coal Harbour neighborhood, the 48-story building contains 367 hotel suites and 175 residential units. Its spectacular glass and metal, façade along with a luxurious 6th floor outside amenity space provides guests with exceptional views of the city’s skyline, the waterfront, and the Coast Mountains beyond.

We joined the project team lead by the developer, Westbank, and James KM Cheng Architects. Our team provided input on the design of the building’s enclosure including the façade, outdoor decks and other unique architectural features at this hotel and residence facility. The project team desired a façade that was primarily glass to provide guests with a stunning view wherever they stood in the building. In 2006, this type of system was advanced for its time, so our team was relied on to asses feasibility and constructability while working with a highly experienced construction team.

To ensure the project team would meet its goals, our team engineered an enclosure comprised of a curtain wall glazing system, metal (including Ombrae) panels, stone cladding, integrated with exterior artwork as part of the facade. We also assisted with performance mock-ups of the enclosure systems, and production of the curtain wall to ensure the product would integrate with the rest of the enclosure. Follow-up reviews and performance testing was undertaken throughout construction to ensure the successful implementation of the project.

Delivered in time for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, the building still stands as one of the premium hotels in Vancouver.


July 16, 2020




James KM Cheng Architects

General Contractor:

299 Burrard Development Inc.

Our Role:

Building Enclosure Consultant, Façade Engineer

Key Services

Concept Review
Construction Document Review
Façade Development and Engineering
Procurement Consulting
Field Review

Before material and systems selections are finalized, our clients benefit from a review of the building enclosure design strategies at a conceptual level. This review provides an opportunity to reflect upon the performance expectations and fundamental building science strategies behind the selection of appropriate solutions. Experience shows that changes made at the conceptual stage of building enclosure design have far greater cost-to-benefit impact than those made during late design or construction. A typical concept review considers the following:

  • Environmental loads
  • Energy performance targets and compliance options
  • Life cycle expectations
  • Constructability, sequencing, and complexity of detailing
  • Structural support
  • Risk analysis

Warren Knowles | P.Eng.

Principal, Senior Building Science Specialist
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Brian Hubbs | P.Eng., BEP

Principal, Senior Building Science Specialist
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Robin Breuer | AScT, RRO

Principal, Senior Project Manager
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