Wellington Building Rehabilitation, Ottawa, ON

Existing Building Upgrade Award | NORR Architects and Engineers

Jury comments: Now widely acknowledged as one of the cornerstones of a sustainable built environment, the renovation and repurposing of existing buildings conserves embodied energy, supports social sustainability and cultural continuity. This project carefully and cleverly reconciles the competing challenges of seismic upgrading of the structure, updating of building services and infrastructure and the constraints of heritage conservation.

This project transforms an insurance office building, consisting of a historic 1927 Beaux Arts landmark and a 1959 addition, into facilities for the House of Commons. The program includes parliamentary offices, multipurpose rooms, library of parliament facilities, cafeteria, ground floor retail space, security processing, as well as two levels of underground support facilities.

The transformation involved stripping the building back to its internal structural frame work, a complete building system replacement, seismic upgrades, heritage restoration, the insertion of a new more robust structural core and new multi-storey spaces.

The project achieved a four Green Globes rating through the preservation of the building core and shell, the reuse of the copper roof, stone and other materials, connection to the district energy plant, solar panels for domestic water pre-heating, heat recovery units, reduced water requirements, a rainwater cistern, a green roof, and room sensors to regulate temperature and light levels. 

A sky-lit atrium brings natural daylight into the upper floors of the building reducing artificial lighting needs. A living wall biofilter provides a natural aesthetic, dampens noise, and cleans and humidifies the air in the ground floor lobby.

The repurposing of existing building stock rather than discarding and building new reflects the priorities of the federal government. The challenge was to rehabilitate the building in a manner that would ensure another 90 years of life while respecting its heritage aspects. While the existing material pallet of stone and bronze has stood up well over time, the mechanical, electrical systems, and exterior windows needed complete replacement and the seismic performance needed significant upgrading.

PROJECT CREDITS

  • Client  Public Services and Procurement
  • Architect  NORR Architects and Engineers
  • Heritage Architect  FGMDA
  • Structural Engineer  Adjelelan Allen Rubeli
  • Mechanical/Electrical Engineer: NORR Architects and Engineers
  • General Contractor:  Ellis Don Corp
  • Photos:  Doublespace Photography

PROJECT PERFORMANCE

  • Energy intensity (building and process energy) =  213 KWhr/m²/year
  • Energy intensity reduction relative to reference building under ASHRAE 90.1 2007 = 34%
  • Water consumption from municipal sources = 5,458litres/occupant/year
  • Reduction in water consumption relative to reference building under LEED = 64%
  • Recycled material content by value = 20%
  • Regional materials (800km radius) by value = 20+%
  • Construction waste diverted from landfill = 87%

Viessmann supplied solar hot water roof panels. The atrium links the reconstructed 1927 and 1959 lobbies to the spaces above via escalators and a sculptural stair. The Nedlaw living wall biofilter is 8.9 m wide x 4.4 m high and removes VOCs from the atrium area, creating 4,000 cubic feet of virtual outside air per minute. Uponor radiant heating systems are used in selected perimeter floor areas. 

SUBSCRIBE TO THE DIGITAL OR PRINT ISSUE OF SABMAGAZINE FOR THE FULL VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE.

Bank of Canada Renewal, Ottawa, ON

Existing Building Upgrade Award | Perkins+Will

Jury comments: This major rehabilitation and revitalization project, driven by quantitative issues of obsolete infrastructure, poor energy performance and related carbon impacts, and an outdated working environment, has been addressed with aesthetic sensitivity and restraint. Innovative structural upgrades enabled the restoration of the integrity of this 1970s office tower by Arthur Erickson,  while the 1930s centre building and its immediate surroundings  have been transformed into valuable new public amenities.

Located just west of Parliament Hill in Downtown Ottawa, the Bank of Canada Head Office complex comprises 79,500m² of offices and operation spaces. The original Centre Building was built in the 1930s; the twin office towers and connecting atrium being added in the 1970s. Completed in 2017, this project included the comprehensive renewal of the existing complex, including some reconfigurations and additions to the program.

A new museum invites and educates the community about the Bank’s role in the Canadian economy. The pyramidal glass entrance pavilion and the enhanced public realm that surrounds it form an abstraction of the Canadian landscape and functions as an accessible, multi-faceted public realm throughout the year.

Major drivers for renewal were the performance and infrastructure deficits of the facility, energy upgrades and carbon reductions, and modernization of the workplace. Within the towers, floor plates and waffle slab ceilings were restored to their original open plan concept.

The renovated towers were designed to be modular, allowing for a diverse range of uses so that each contains a combination of private and collaborative spaces.

The Centre Building accommodates both offices and conference facilities, while the atrium provides a variety of social spaces.

The design looked to maintain as much of the existing building infrastructure as possible, to lower both costs and negative environmental impact. Passive design strategies include revealing floorplates, allowing for deeper daylight penetration and greater access to views to the exterior and atrium.

PROJECT CREDITS

  • Client:  Bank of Canada
  • Architecture/Interior Team: Perkins + Will
  • Civil Engineer: Novatech Engineering Consultants
  • Electrical/Mechanical Engineer: BPA Engineering Consultants
  • Structural Engineer:  Adjeleian Allen Rubeli Limited
  • Project Manager:  CBRE Limited/Project Management Canada
  • General Contractor:  PCL Constructors Canada Inc.
  • Landscape Architect:  DTAH
  • Food Service/Commissioning Agent:  WSP
  • Heritage ConsultantEvoq Architecture
  • Building Envelope:  ZEC Consulting
  • Building ScienceCLEB
  • Sustainability Consulting Team:  Perkins + Will
  • Security:  LEA
  • A/V:  Engineering Harmonics
  • Acoustic:  HGC
  • Cost Consultant:  Turner & Townsend
  • Lighting:  Gabriel MacKinnon/Perkins + Will
  • Code & Life Safety:  Morrison Hershfield
  • Photos:  Younes Bounhar

PROJECT PERFORMANCE

  • Energy intensity = 183 kWh/m² /year
  • Energy savings relative to reference building = 44%
  • Water consumption = 4,645L/occupant/year (based on 250 days operation)
  • Water savings relative to reference building = 35%

SUBSCRIBE TO THE DIGITAL OR PRINT ISSUE OF SABMAGAZINE FOR THE FULL VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE.

Sechelt Water Resource Centre, Sechelt, BC

Commercial/Industrial [Small] Award   |  Public Architecture + Communication

Jury comments: We hope this project marks the beginning of a new era in which the invisible infrastructure that has long-supported urban life is brought out into the daylight. Only through making infrastructure visible can we fully grasp and understand the implications of our linear systems of production, consumption, treatment and disposal. Alongside the learning opportunities provided by this facility, the volume of waste discharged into the ocean has been reduced by 90% compared to its predecessor and the bio-nutrient by-products can be used for industry and agriculture.

The Sechelt Water Resource Centre (SWRC) rethinks traditional municipal wastewater treatment. Instead of sequestering this essential service behind a locked chain-link fence, the transparent suburban facility reveals the mechanical and biological systems that clean wastewater, replacing the traditional ‘flush and forget about it’ systems with one that encourages the public to consider their role in the hydrological cycle.

In comparison to the facility it replaced, the SWRC discharges ten times fewer waste solids into the sea, boasts double the treatment capacity and nearly half the operational costs; and, captures resources (biosolids, heat, and water) for industry, parks, and agriculture. A sewage treatment plant, botanical garden and teaching facility in turn, the centre also provides a more humane work environment where employee duties include harvesting tomatoes and pruning roses.

Wastewater is treated and reused at its source instead of being pumped back and forth from an energy intensive pipe network, effectively closing the water loop. The SWRC replaces an existing packaged extended aeration plant with the first North American installation of the Organica Fed Batch Reactor System.

This system is set apart by the inclusion of microorganisms, which live among the roots of plants grown in a greenhouse above the reactors. The plant roots create a complex environment which fosters a biologically diverse community of insects and bacteria that consume the organic matter.

What is remarkable about this system is the elimination of noise pollution and odours associated with conventional treatment as well as its reduced footprint. The entire process is housed in a single building, which integrates with the surrounding neighbourhood and nearby Sechelt Marsh Park.

PROJECT CREDITS

  • Owner/Developer: District Municipality of Sechelt
  • Architect:  Public Architecture + Communication
  • General Contractor:  Maple Reinders Group Inc.
  • Landscape Architect: Urban Systems
  • Civil Engineer:  Urban Systems
  • Electrical Engineer:  IITS Ltd.
  • Mechanical Engineer:  HPF engineering Ltd.
  • Structural Engineer:  CWMM Consulting Engineers Ltd.
  • Commissioning Agent:  CES Group 
  • Photos:  Martin Tessler

PROJECT PERFORMANE

  • Energy intensity (process) = 584 KWhr/m²/year
  • Energy intensity reduction relative to reference building under ASHRAE 90.1 2007 = 22%
  • Water consumption from municipal sources = 12,597 litres/occupant/year
  • Reduction in water consumption relative to reference building under LEED = 69%
  • Recycled material content by value = 17%
  • Regional materials (800km radius) by value = 26%
  • Construction waste diverted from landfill = 96%

SUBSCRIBE TO THE DIGITAL OR PRINT ISSUE OF SABMAGAZINE FOR THE FULL VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE.

BANK OF CANADA RENEWAL

With a total floor area of approximately 79,000m², the Bank of Canada complex occupies an entire city block in Ottawa’s central Parliamentary District. The complex consists of the Classical grey granite Centre Building, designed by Morani, Lawson and Morris and opened in 1938, flanked by two modern glass towers and indoor atrium designed by Arthur Erickson and completed in 1979.

By Jim Taggart

Design Intent

The renewal project was designed to maintain the major architectural components of these historically significant structures, while bringing the facility up to 21st century standards for accessibility, fire and life safety, security and seismic performance. In addition, the interior reconfiguration responds to the client’s desire to reinvigorate its operations by fostering a collaborative workplace culture. Moving away from private workspaces to an open environment, the Interior modifications consciously drive a future thinking workplace that will appeal to the brightest and best of the emerging young workforce.

Physical Renewal

The major physical components of the project included complete interior demolition and fit-up of new office space, new structural concrete shear walls and floor slab infills and new staircase configurations. These changes were strategic in nature, designed to meet the functional criteria in the most unobtrusive way possible.

For example, the careful demolition and replacement of the existing elevator and fire stair core in the office towers with new seismically upgraded versions eliminated the need for the more common, but more visually intrusive strategy of storey height steel cross-bracing installed behind the existing glass curtain wall. The perimeter of each tower floor thus became available for the creation of a 450mm deep ‘dynamic buffer zone’ to improve energy efficiency and environmental control.

With the installation of an interior wall of glass, this zone forms the plenum of a double envelope system that improves thermal performance and permits the pre-conditioning of air before it is distributed through the building. While a conventional suspended ceiling might have achieved the same effect, it would have concealed Erickson’s original exposed concrete structure.

The perimeter buffer zone, combined with a new open plan office configuration, meant that a labyrinth of ductwork could be avoided and supplementary heat supplied by radiant panels, discretely located in the coffers of the concrete tree column structure. These low-profile panels leave space for the integration of high efficiency lighting and sprinkler heads within the coffers.

Other new building systems include new roof-level mechanical penthouses and main electrical rooms in the basement. Together, these systems result in overall operational energy savings of 70% over the existing condition, contributing multiple credits to the project’s LEED Gold designation.

Interior Reconfiguration

In the two towers, Erickson’s open-office concept column grid was restored. Open-plan spaces, modular furniture and sit-stand desks, create a variety of ‘me, we and us’ workspaces. The renewal seamlessly integrates power and data for 21st century digital technologies.

Interconnected spaces on the main floor and the level below, allow the Bank to create a new destination for conferences and events. The latest technology, together with adjacent lounges and integrated food and beverage service, provides support to a wide variety of meeting spaces.

Extensive external plaza works include the construction of a new glass pyramid, which serves as the main entry for the Bank of Canada Museum, which was moved from the Centre Block to the site of a below grade loading dock beneath the plaza. This relocation was necessary in part because the public entrance to the museum had been through the atrium, a space now off-limits to the general public due to the security requirements now imposed on the central banks of G-7 countries.

Jim Taggart, FRAIC is Editor of SABMag.

Demountable wall systems used in the Bank of Canada were provided by Teknion

PROJECT CREDITS

  • Client  Bank of Canada
  • Architect  Perkins+Will
  • Structural Engineer  Adjeleian Allen Rubeli Limited
  • Mechanical/Electrical Engineer  BPA
  • Interior Design  Perkins+Will
  • Landscape Architect  DTAH
  • Sustainability Consultant  Perkins+Will
  • Heritage Consultant  EVOQ Architecture (Formerly FGMDA)
  • Construction Manager  PCL Construction
  • Project Manager CBRE Limited/Project Management Canada
  • Photos  doublespace photography

PROJECT PERFORMANCE

  • Energy intensity = 183 kWh/m² /year
  • Energy savings relative to reference building = 44%
  • Water consumption = 4,645L/occupant/year (based on 250 days of operation)
  • Water savings relative to reference building = 35%

SUBSCRIBE TO THE DIGITAL OR PRINT ISSUE OF SABMAGAZINE FOR THE FULL VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE.