Location | Tulita, NT
Sector | Social Infrastructure
Market | Government
Project Delivery Method: New Construction
Discipline | Civil
Chief Albert Wright School is a K-12 School located in the hamlet of Tulita, Northwest Territories. A reoccurring problem related to the schools’ infrastructure became apparent, and the key objective was to implement a fix to establish the integrity of the school to better serve the students and staff of the school.
Williams Engineering Canada (WEC) were the prime consultants on this project, providing design, construction administration, and technical advice. The drainage and up-wielding of water around Chief Albert Wright School was hindering the cooling features underneath the school. In the North, thermosiphons are installed to protect the permafrost by keeping the area underneath a building cool; this lessens the impact of a warm summer on the underlying permafrost. The school’s thermosiphons were under regulated impacts by excess moisture, because of a poor install and an ineffective drainage system. The WEC civil team conducted site reconnaissance and discussed the best approach with the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) and local operators. A membrane was designed to obstruct the water and redirect it off the property. From a non-technical lens, challenges arose regarding the new technology that was deployed for the site and understanding the demands of a fly in community (material and equipment logistics). Additionally, wet site conditions and challenging soils posed an issue, and were combatted by utilizing local experience, and WEC’s northern technical staff attention to detail.
Overall, mobilizing qualified, experienced engineers for on-site supervision and guidance, as well as keeping all parties informed on client objectives were key factors to the project’s overall success. WEC’s experience in the North continues to diversify and continues to support the community’s needs no matter how large or small the project may be.