St. Kateri Tekakwitha Academy

St. Kateri Tekakwitha Academy, located at 980 Westwinds Drive in Morinville, Alberta, will be opening its doors to children from Kindergarten to Grade Six. English programming, as well as a sports academy (gym, cheer, dance, and hockey) will be available to all students. The school is designed to hold a capacity of 350 students in a space of 3089 m2. Additionally, eight modular classrooms were included in the scope of work to supplement the core building. The project is targeted to attain LEED® Silver Certification.

Williams Engineering (WE) worked closely with Group2 Architecture to provide a design that would meet the end client’s requirements. The provided design was consistent with the current Alberta Infrastructure technical standards and guidelines related to facilities of St. Kateri’s nature and showed a prudent blend of life cycle cost considerations, including capital costs, utility consumption costs and simple straightforward systems that can be understood and operated in an effective manner.

As part of its scope, the mechanical team designed the fire protection systems, plumbing systems, and displacement ventilation systems. Mechanical energy conservation measures included heat recovery on air systems, high-efficiency condensing heating water boilers, high-efficiency motors, DDC controlled shut-down of fan systems during unoccupied periods and unoccupied space temperature setback. The building is fully sprinklered, including the modular classrooms. Plumbing systems provide a high degree of water consumption efficiency. Water closets and public lavatories were equipped with infrared-activated flush valves and faucets. Ventilation to the classrooms and general areas is 100% outdoor air displacement ventilation systems. This distribution supplies air around the perimeter of each space utilizing low-level supply grilles.

The electrical team designed the power, communications and lighting systems which include daylight harvesting (daylight sensors incorporated to reduce illumination levels in high ceiling areas) for cost-effectiveness. In an effort to further minimize and control energy consumption and to provide a sustainable, efficient and functional system for the facility, consistent with LEED® criteria, the electrical system was designed to utilize energy-efficient light fixtures using LED technology, multi-level local lighting controllability, MBCS control of car park receptacle operation and parking area lighting, as well as occupancy sensor control of lighting in all washrooms and storage rooms.

Lean project delivery was used to increase productivity and to optimize collaboration. The design was completed using pull planning to open the lines of input from all team members and maximize value.

The schedule of the project has been spread out, with predesign completed in 2016 and work starting in earnest in February of 2017. WE continues to deliver comfortable, material-efficient, and secure educational spaces while providing impactful and intelligent solutions.