Since opening its doors in 1966, The Edmonton Public Library Calder Branch relocated from a leased space of 5,330 square feet to a new 10,000 square foot, stand-alone building. This new library meets the needs of this growing and diversifying community with a larger community room, quiet study rooms, comfortable chairs, a freshwater aquarium, 17 public computers, and a fireplace. Mandated to achieve a minimum LEED® Silver certification by the CaGBC, the project was delivered in two major phases: an initial schematic design phase that was used to validate the project programming and budget for the purpose of obtaining funding approval from City Council and a second phase which includes the remainder of the design and construction of the new building.
Williams Engineering (WE) was pleased to provide the mechanical, electrical, and civil engineering consulting services for the schematic design phase, which was completed in early 2014. The detailed design and construction phase were recently completed in March 2018.
The library’s unique ceiling presented a design challenge for lighting the space. The ceiling is made up of drop-in ceiling tiles paired with sections of the drywall ceiling. The light fixtures were recessed into the ceiling, separating the two ceiling types, which created an origami-like effect — imitating folding dashes on paper. The lighting not only had to provide intrigue but also light the space effectively for reading. This was achieved through the selection of luminaries with the correct lumen output and light distribution pattern. Benches and desks integrated task lights and were installed to further direct light where it was needed. A digital lighting control system was also used to control the fixtures. Control devices included: occupancy and vacancy sensors in offices and storage rooms, as well as dimmer switches within the multipurpose spaces.
For accessibility purposes, a hearing loop was installed at both the front counter and around the entire multipurpose space. The hearing loop allows those with hearing aids to hear the speaker with the microphone clearly while blocking out the background noise; this greatly enhances the user’s experience within the facility. Another great accessibility feature includes an abundance of public parking spaces and a 24-hour book return.
Floor boxes were used throughout the main circulation space for power and data devices. This was done to provide users with the necessary electrical requirements while allowing for floor-to-ceiling windows around the entire perimeter of the space. The natural lighting is a welcome addition for the library staff and patrons, as it adds to the inviting ambiance.
A more modernized and easily accessible facility is open to the Edmonton public. The Calder Public library is more than a place to read or sign out books. It is a physical symbol of community, the expansion of knowledge, and local relationship building. Our team was able to draw from a wide range of expertise and experience to deliver a quality, resilient, and sustainable design which has had a positive impact on the community.