Whitehorse Operations Building

The Whitehorse Operations Building consists of over 155,539 square feet of offices, storage and maintenance facilities for the City of Whitehorse. The project was planned over several years, with the goal of reducing long-term operations costs and energy usage. It replaces several buildings around Whitehorse, some of which date back to the 1960s. The finished facility will consolidate operations from several departments into one building. The final project provides the much-needed infrastructure to support and maintain current and future operations for the city.

Williams Engineering (WE) was appointed to provide mechanical and electrical consulting engineering services for this project.  The new Operations Building includes offices and workspaces for inside and outside workers, spaces for maintenance and storage of equipment within the building, energized and landscaped parking areas outside of the building, storm drainage and an energy-efficient design to enable the City of Whitehorse to reduce its carbon footprint. As well this building was designed to lessen long-term annual operational and maintenance costs by operating this building with sustainable practices and innovative technologies, thus, exceeding the National Energy Code for Buildings with a target of 80% better.

WE’s approach to completing projects involved working as a team with the owner, the other consultants, the construction manager, and sub-contractors. The objective was to produce a cost-effective project that meets the current and future needs of the users and lowers overall operating costs.

The design included several unique systems to the building, including a 500kW PV — photovoltaic system, most commonly known as a solar power system — array, electric vehicle charging facilities, vehicle wash bay with water recycling, and vehicle maintenance specialty equipment, active CCTV cameras, and an NECB (National Energy Code for Buildings) compliant lighting control system. WE also worked with the multidiscipline design team, the City of Whitehorse, and Energy Analytics to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of various energy packages developed by the design team.

The project design was completed on schedule, with a schedule extension provided to accommodate additional transit storage added during the final phases of design (post 95% submission. The project was completed on budget, with a budget increase provided for the additional design of the transit bay expansion (post 95%); the tendered project construction cost was $3M below estimate.

Williams Engineering looks forward to future projects with the City of Whitehorse, with the goal of contributing to safer, sustainable and resilient communities.