Kwanlin Dün First Nation Education Hub

The Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) is the tenth official self-governing First Nation in the Yukon area, with the majority of its diverse population residing in Whitehorse. The KDFN’s Department of Education and Social Development leads five primary services and programs: Dusk’a Head Start Family Learning Centre (daycare), Kindergarten to Grade 12 Education, Adult Education and Employment, Income Assistance and Language and Culture. With demand for increased services and programming greatly exceeding the current capacity of their existing facilities, KDFN is taking this opportunity to consolidate its education and social development programs under one purpose-built, carbon-efficient, and innovative structure. The newly constructed building includes a commercial kitchen for teaching and cultural programming, ample multipurpose space for community gatherings and events, prep kitchens for daycare and early childhood program support, and the greenhouse will be used for local food and medicines programming.

Williams Engineering Canada (WEC) provided mechanical and electrical services for the design of this new construction project. Specific service requirements and design for shared community and programming space are essential for this project, providing students with a deep connection to the outdoors for cultural programs. WEC’s mechanical team provided a low-carbon HVAC and plumbing systems design to support the client’s goals for a net-zero energy building. The innovative systems use an all-electric, ground-source heat pump (GSHP) system paired with in-slab heating and cooling and variable flow energy recover ventilators to optimize indoor comfort conditions in an extremely energy efficient manner and without the use of any on-site fossil fuel combustion; it will be the first GSHP system for a commercial or institutional building in the Yukon Territory.

The system is able to harvest excess heat from the building and the architecturally integrated greenhouse and reuse it when and where needed to condition the building. We’ve collaborated with our colleagues at Umbra to provide a complete fire protection system design for the facility. Security and access control infrastructure will be provided by our electrical team. The electrical systems design includes site lighting, main building power service, emergency power and distribution systems. We’ve collaborated with our colleagues at Umbra to provide a complete fire protection system design for the facility.

This critical education hub will bring to life the KDFN’s vision for a structure rooted in language, culture and learning, enabling existing and future educational and social programs to flourish within the community.