DJAVAD MOWAFAGHIAN CHILD CARE CENTRE at Children’s and Women’s Health Centre BC

Designed by: dys architecture


The Child Care Centre is located on the campus of the Children’s and Women’s Health Care Centre of BC. This 684 sq.m. facility isa one-storey building and provides spaces for 49 children: infants, toddlers and preschoolers with indoor and outdoor play areas.



Site & Indoor Environment Strategies
Concealed by a berm, the building sits at the northern end of the site with the outdoor spaces facing south. Mature deciduous trees along the southern property provide sun protection in the summer and light in the winter.The design of large overhangs on the south help to prevent heat gain in the summer while allowing low winter sunlight to enter when light and warmth is needed most. Windows were specifically designed to be low to the ground with direct views to the outdoors from the occupied program spaces as well as enhance the indoor air quality for the main occupants, the children.




The structure and mechanical components are exposed to create a learning environment for the children. Careful attention was paid to the acoustical design, physically separating noisy and quiet spaces.


A number of strategies allowed the project to eliminate the need for mechanical cooling such as operable windows allowing for passive rather than mechanical ventilation. A high performance envelope keeps the building protected from excessive temperature fluctuations allowing for the cooling requirements to be satisfied with a fan rather than air conditioning.






For a childcare centre, quality of indoor air is an apparent concern. The interior finishes, such as millwork, adhesives, sealants, paints, etc. were specified to contain zero to the very minimal off-gassing compounds.








The building construction is wood-frame, conforming to the provincial Wood First initiative promoting the culture of wood. Wood is highlighted throughout the structure, exterior façade and interior spaces. Materials were regionally sourced and manufactured with Forest Steward Council (FSC) certified wood and recycled materials where possible, showcasing and supporting local industries.







Hints of coloured elements were used for the exterior and interior spaces to create a more playful environment. Such elements include coloured exterior metal paneling to interior coloured glass tiles.


The significant use of wood throughout from structure to finishes, help incorporate the concept of biophilia, which is the deep-seated affinity that humans feel for nature. The aim was to create a nurturing space for the benefits of the children and all visitors to the centre.





Floor: insulated concrete slab on grade with in-floor gas-fired hydronic heating –REHAUresilient flooring & vinyl wall base – Tarkett & Johnsonite

Structure: prefabricated wooden glulam structural system –by Western Archrib Structural Wood Systems

Roof: 2 ply SBS membrane on a wood structure –Soprema

Façade: cedar siding rainscreen system on wood framing- by Centra Exteriors Ltd. metal paneling –by Agvale Industries

Windows: operable low-e double glazed aluminum frame –Toro Aluminum

Skylights: operable skylights –VELUX

Interiors: specialty millwork –by Nikolai Manufacturing Inc. & Orion Interior
fibre reinforced laminate wall protection surfacing –Nevamar
acoustical ceiling & wall panels with acoustical batt insulation & fire-resistive fabric – Metro Wallcovering
glass wall tiles –Interstyle
ceramic wall tiles –OlympiaTile
plastic laminate for countertops & cabinetry–Abet Laminati