Women’s Safe House
Location:              Lake Babine Nation, Burns Lake, BC
Completed:          2019
Building area:     431sm (4,628sft)

The Carrier Sekani Family Services Safe House is located on the Lake Babine Nation’s Reserve in Burns Lake, BC. The building is built on the infamous trail of tears addressing a much need refuge for women seeking a safe place to escape domestic violence.

There is a need for healing that includes elements of cultural humility and long term vision” Cindy Adams, Shelter Supervisor

The facility has 7 family rooms on two floors with a capacity of 21 beds. The program includes administration office, communal kitchen and living room on the main floor with a south facing outdoor play and gathering area. On the second floor a Multi-purpose space will be used for Counselling and an indoor play area for children.

Sustainability and Efficiency
The construction is a pre-fabricated wood panel system to achieve quality control, schedule and budget requirements. The building is designed to meet Passive House requirements. The following sustainable strategies were used to vastly reduce the operational cost for heating and cooling:

  • Compact Building foot print to reduce exterior surfaces exposed to temperature differential
  • Innovative passive building envelope system that achieves R44 walls and R57 roof.  An open wall system wall system that included Pavetex T&G and a Majrex Vapour Membrane.
  • High performance triple glazed windows with wood frames with aluminum exterior cladding for durability. 
  • Passive Natural ventilation achieved by a custom ventilation chimney and operable windows to reduce cooling loads and provide fresh air in the summer and shoulder seasons.
  • 4 zone HRV system for ventilation, and ceiling mounted electrical radiant panels.

Carrier Sekani Family Services

Design Team
Alfred Waugh (Architect in Charge), Monika Kolon 

Structural Engineer:       Equilibrium Consulting
Mechanical Engineer:    Alberto Bicol Consulting Inc.
Electrical Engineer:        McElhanney Consulting Services
Civil Engineer:                  Opus