Dedicated to sustainable,
high performance building

Bluenose Academy

Targeting LEED Gold, the design team for the Bluenose Academy focused its attention on creating a contemporary high-performance building that  also paid homage to the significant built heritage of the town, much of which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. By John Crace
High-performance design respects historic roots The new building, designed to replace four existing schools, including the historic Lunenburg Academy, draws on both the characteristic deep red colour that can be  seen in  so many of the town’s waterfront buildings; and on the white paint and black trim typically seen in the town’s churches and civic buildings. The large classroom windows are an abstraction of the bay window forms that are a common feature of Lunenburg architecture. The Bluenose Academy building shares its space with the Lunenburg community, and in turn has access to many other nearby community recreational facilities. Sharing the library, cafeteria, music room, drama room, tech-space and gymnasium ensures the maximum use of the building and eliminates the need to build a separate community centre elsewhere. Similarly, 53 non-visitor parking spaces are provided through a reciprocal arrangement with the neighbouring community pool, arena, curling club, skate park, and playing field. This collective approach significantly reduced the need to build a new parking area. In addition, preferred parking spaces are provided for alternative fuel vehicles. To encourage carpooling, a charging station for electric vehicles is available, and infrastructure for cycling is located conveniently near the main entrance. Where possible, the school’s sustainable features are made visible to students, staff and visitors and summarized for staff to capitalize on the learning opportunities they represent. PROJECT CREDITS
  • Owner/Developer NS Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal
  • Architect WHW Architects
  • Structural Engineer BMR Structural Engineering
  • General Contractor Bird Rideau Construction
  • Mechanical/Electrical Engineer Dumac Energy Ltd.
  • Landscape Architect Gordon Ratcliffe Landscape Architects
  • Civil Engineer WSP Global
  • Commissioning Agent MCW Maricor
  • Photos Craig Mosher
  • Energy intensity [building and process energy] = 252MJ/m²/year
  • Energy intensity reduction relative to reference building under MNECB = 56.5%
  • Potable water consumption from municipal sources = 3,065 litres/occupant/year
  • Reduction in potable water consumption relative to reference building = 54.6%
  • Regional materials [800km radius] by value = 26.4%
  • Reclaimed and recycled materials [by value] = 23%
  • Steel-frame with aluminum-frame curtain wall system, fire-rated insulation in exterior walls, fiberglass batts for interior walls, rigid for tapered roof and under slab, metal siding and composite panels, partially vegetated roof; abuse-resistant drywall by CGC, DensDeck by Georgia Pacific used as substrate for roof and walls, linoleum and porcelain tile flooring
  • Heating system fuelled by wood pellets; Solarwall, solar thermal and solar PV used on south end, Low-emitting sealants, adhesives, coatings, and finishes for interior; high-efficiency lamps and occupancy sensors, lighting controls by Cristal Controls.
John Crace is Director of Sustainability with WHW Architects in Halifax.