← Back



Photo credit: Ema Peter


The new Operations Centre is part of a larger redevelopment of City of Surrey’s main Works Yard, encompassing fleet and staff parking, storage facilities, a decanting facility, vehicle and equipment wash bays, enhanced vehicle and pedestrian circulation, and improvements to an adjacent natural watercourse. The Operations and Administration Centre provides a welcoming civic face to the entire Works Yard. The form of the new buildings features a simple arrangement of blocks, finished in glazed curtain wall and composite metal panels with faceted accents in clear cedar cladding. High performance fritted glazing provides protection from excessive sunlight glare and heat gain. Green roofs temper the heat island effect and provide an outdoor amenity to administration and operations staff. [1]

The offices open to a green roof, atop the adjacent workshops, that includes space for employees’ vegetable gardens. At ground level, the lobby acts as a gathering space for workers coming and going, while doubling as a mini-museum of technology. At its far end, a glass case displays century-old pipes and valves. A wood ceiling, patterned with slices of rectangular LED lights and sloped downward for a sense of intimacy, leads visitors to a cedar wall displaying a hollowed-out log that was once used as a water pipe. [2]

The scope of work consisted of three main buildings including a four-storey Operations Centre/Administration Building, Fleet Maintenance Building and Warehouse including vehicle maintenance bays, repair shops and office space as well as three pre-engineered structures including a Decant Facility and two Storage Buildings providing general storage and loading space. The project also included space for fleet parking, storage, social gathering, loading, and off-site works. Construction was executed in phases since it was critical to maintain uninterrupted facility operations. Overall schedule was met, finishing the final phases slightly before the original scheduled completion date. The facility has achieved LEED Silver Certification and is to be 40% more energy efficient than a typical Operations Building. [3]

The project’s form and material palette communicate openness, warmth and clarity. Fully glazed bifold bay doors maximize natural light in workshops and provide an exterior canopy when open, extending the interior work spaces during warm months. Staff and public entry points and break zones are marked by indented porches lined with tongue and groove western red cedar planks; this finish continues into the lobby where an open skylit stair drives light into the center of the floor plates, acting as a hub for social interaction overlooked by cafe-style break rooms. [4]


NewCity Design Interiors Award of Excellence 2017
NewCity Design Institutional Award of Merit 2017
Ontario Association of Architects Award of Excellence Finalist 2016
Architectural Institute of British Columbia Innovation Award 2016
2015 Fraser Valley Commercial Building Sustainability Award 


[1]      “Surrey Main Operations Centre and Works Yard.” Recollective Consulting, May 27, 2021. https://recollective.ca/project/surrey-main-operations-centre-and-works-yard/.

[2]        Ditmars, Hadani. “The Works: Surrey Operations Centre and Works Yard Redevelopment, Surrey, British Columbia.” Canadian Architect, June 20, 2019. https://www.canadianarchitect.com/the-works-surrey/.

[3]      “Surrey Main Works Yard – Project Overview: Graham.” Graham Construction. Accessed June 16, 2021. https://www.grahambuilds.com/projects/surrey-main-works-yard/.

[4]       “Central Operations Centre & Works Yard: RDHA Architectural Design Firm.” RDHA. Accessed June 16, 2021. https://www.rdharch.com/surrey-operations-centre.

Additional information:

“Surrey Works Yard + Operations Centre: Taylor Kurtz Architecture + Design.” Archello. Accessed June 16, 2021. https://archello.com/project/surrey-works-yard-operations-centre.

TKA+D projects. Accessed June 16, 2021. http://tkad.ca/P-Surrey%20Works%20Yard.html.

Project Title: Surrey Operations Centre and Works Yard
Artists:  RDH Architects
Year: 2015

Place: Surrey, BC

scroll to top