Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
Project Delivery Method: Design/Build
Engineering Disciplines: Structural, Mechanical
» Project Details
To enhance the federal government’s presence in the City of Yellowknife, a plan for a Government of Canada Building was put into place in 2002. Using LEED® guidelines, the building provides healthy and energy efficient components that align within a typical Yellowknife commercial building construction budget. Williams provided structural and mechanical engineering design services for the first North of 60 LEED® Canada-Gold certified office building.
The new building improves the delivery of services to communities in the Northwest Territories and is a positive addition to Yellowknife’s downtown core. The Greenstone Building design accounts for the harsh climate in this northern region. The building was designed to be durable and flexible, while accommodating the needs of the various departments who will occupy it over the planned 75 year life expectancy.
Design objectives were understandably complex in order to meet the needs of the client for this 6,800 m2, four-storey office building. The reinforced concrete flat slab structural system is a unique feature to Yellowknife. Also, fall arrest systems were designed and provided on the roof and interior elevated walkways to provide a safe working environment for the maintenance staff. Roof design loads exceeded floor loads due to the installation of plant growing medium (green roof) and the placement of mechanical equipment. Increased levels of flyash were utilized in the concrete design mixes to meet the LEED® requirements of this project. Unique structural designs include a parallel flat plate structure for the main entrance canopy, a structural steel sunshade to provide the building occupants with protection from direct sunlight, and custom balustrade design.
Williams’ mechanical designs were both cost-effective and forward-thinking. The building has been fitted with a unique Underfloor Air Distribution System (UFAD). Occupancy sensors shut off ventilation air when not required and all washrooms use ultra-low volume fixtures and no flush urinals for a 35% water consumption reduction over standard fixtures. A rainwater recovery system has been designed to provide water to the water closets. Overall, mechanical systems were designed for a reduction of energy consumption by 35% over ASHRAE 90-1.
The design philosophy of both Williams and the client was to showcase the best available environmental design practices to minimize the impact of the building on the natural environment and demonstrate practical and effective high-performance building strategies to other sectors of government and to the Canadian public. Williams is proud to have been a part of this project and a continuing contributor to communities in Northern Canada.