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. 

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