West Ridge Middle School, located in the community of West Springs Calgary, Alberta, is currently serving students from grades five to nine. The school is a two-storey, conventionally framed masonry and steel structure with a gross floor area of approximately 89,000 sqft, including eight (8) modular classrooms. West Ridge has a capacity for 900 students and offers an engaging and caring learning environment to create an ideal elementary and middle years educational experience.
Williams Engineering (WE) provided design and construction administration services for structural, mechanical, electrical and civil disciplines. The primary objective, as part of its LEED® mandate, was to create a safe, sustainable, and healthy learning environment. The mechanical system design reflects 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; consideration was given to providing accessibility for maintenance. Local or Canadian products were specified wherever possible to facilitate easy replacement of parts. As well, domestic hot water is provided through two high-efficiency condensing type hot water heaters, and plumbing fixtures were specified as low flow to help reduce water demand. Heating for the facility is achieved using non-condensing high-efficiency boilers serving perimeter baseboard radiation while cooling and ventilation are provided using DX cooling in four rooftop-mounted air-handling units. All the mechanical systems are controlled by a direct digital control (DDC) building automation system.
The WE civil team completed an underground utility system for storm, sanitary, and water services. The complete site grading for the school was done to ensure proper drainage away from the building while also providing a comfortable slope for public use. Furthermore, erosion and sediment control plans were designed and implemented to ensure minimal construction pollution during the construction phase of the project.
The structural scope entailed designs for pilings and footings, grade beams, retaining walls, foundation walls, floors (grade-supported and structural), as well as elevated structural floors. Additionally, WE provided roof framing, exterior canopies and walls that are: vertically bearing, wind-resistant and shear/earthquake-resistant.
WE provided the electrical design, tendering and construction administration for an electrical system designs including standard power, lighting and controls, life safety systems (fire alarm, emergency & exit lighting), telecommunications infrastructure, security systems (card access, intrusion alarm & CCTV) rough-ins, and public address system. The design included many LEED® and other sustainable design principles, such as:
- LED luminaires were designed for the exterior, combination of LED and T5 high-efficiency luminaires were designed throughout the interior — lighting levels were modelled and designed to meet IES & CBE Standards, as well as meeting NECB lighting power density requirements.
- Digital lighting control, including occupancy sensor/daylight sensor/vacancy switch, was implemented to provide flexible control and energy savings.
- Voice/data system including fibre optics & Cat6A cabling, wireless access points where required by user groups.
- VOIP technology was used for the building’s telephone system.
- An addressable fire alarm system was designed, and fire alarm initiation and notification design met Alberta Building Code requirements.
In pursuit of LEED® (Silver or Gold) accreditation, our electrical team incorporated the following into our design:
- SS Credit 8 Light Pollution Reduction: designed lighting level less than 1.1 lux at the site boundary and less than 0.11 lux 3m beyond the site boundary.
- IEQ Credit 6.1 Controllability of Systems – Lighting: over 90% of individual occupants and 100% of shared multi-occupant spaces have their lighting control, achieved a minimum 50% reduction of interior lighting input power via automatic controls.
- Exterior/interior lighting power and controls and electrical distribution systems monitoring and power receptacles control meet NECB requirements.
- Electrical meter provisions were in place to have a dedicated panel board feeding modular units so that metering of the modules can be achieved if required.
Due to the sustainability embedded in the design and construction of the project, LEED® Silver Certification was awarded. WE practiced and maintained open and consistent communication with the client throughout the entirety of this fast-paced project. The Alberta government made a commitment to education, which has resulted in an influx of improved and newly created educational facilities. WE is grateful to have been a part of the initiative, as education creates diverse perspectives, which leads to diverse and innovative solutions.