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A Rush of Fresh Air at Civic Hotel

Civic Hotel’s state-of-the-art building puts us at the forefront of eco-friendly hospitality venues in British Columbia. While energy efficiency is a critical driver behind our innovative design and construction, we’re just as keen to support our guests’ comfort and wellbeing through using more healthful, less-invasive technologies. That’s why we chose a passive natural ventilation system, setting a new standard for indoor hotel air quality that guests will discover in every clean, fresh-smelling breath.

Most hotels ventilate guest rooms by using mechanical forced-air systems that blow air into the space. Typically, this is air that has been moved through ducts and vents throughout the building. It can contain pollutants, molds, dust mites or allergens that act as irritants to the sensitive linings of the nose. The air can be quite dry, as these systems often combine ventilation with the heating and cooling systems. The air can also distribute odours from one area of the hotel to another.

Rather than ventilating with recirculated air, the natural ventilation system at the Civic draws fresh, outdoor air directly inside the building through specially designed shafts. The fresh air is drawn in silently and gently circulates the air inside the room. By harnessing the stack effect available in the building, used or stale air is flushed outdoors. This outflow generates the intake of new, clean air into the room. It also reduces the need for energy-hungry fans and equipment by a remarkable 90%.

The benefits for guests are impressive and wide-ranging. The introduction of fresh air eliminates the potential adverse health impacts of breathing recirculated air. There are no strange odours introduced into the room. Ventilation works noiselessly, without loud, disruptive blasts of air creating air flows around you. Studies also show that natural ventilation systems enhance overall productivity through improving indoor environmental quality.

Another of our system’s benefits is that it allows for the use of operable windows in every room, allowing direct access to outdoor air. Opening and closing windows has always been one of the most intuitive ways humans manage airflow, temperature and quality, yet is offered in very few hotels. So designing Civic Hotel with operable windows is another reflection of our commitment to superior guest comfort. It’s simply one more way we’re helping our guests wake up feeling great, alert and ready to take on whatever the new day brings.