Over the last century or so, the facilities being built to provide how and where one learns have undergone extreme changes. From isolated classrooms along corridors to open, unprogrammed forums, and from education by rote and repetition to learning through discovery, chance encounters, or direct experience––how and where people learn has shifted radically.
The benefits of modular construction are becoming more widely known. The reduced time spent onsite leads to fewer health and safety issues for construction workers, quality building, accelerated construction schedules, and a faster return on investment (ROI). The momentum of various green rating programs and standards is now drawing attention to the advantages of offsite construction in terms of sustainable building.
The sheen of the floor in an Edmonton Value Village store may look like polished concrete, but it is, in fact, neither polished nor concrete. The surface material is actually a bonded topping—a relatively soft cementitious material used as underlayment for carpet or vinyl tile, which would not normally be considered ‘shinable.’ Instead of the labour-intensive finish made by polishing it with fine diamond abrasives, it was honed with only medium-grit abrasives, hardened with an advanced-chemistry densifier, protected with a breathable sealer, and buffed to a near-polished shine—a much more affordable treatment.
After 44 years at its 11th Street SW location, Calgary’s science centre has moved due to a lack of expansion space. The new Nose Creek Valley site allows room for a facility that is double the size, and has room for expansion. However, the new site presented challenges for designers. It is in line with the main north-south runway at the Calgary International Airport, and the planes that land heading north fly over the site at a low altitude.
Historical buildings are central to Canada’s character and culture. Safeguarded at the federal, provincial, and municipal levels, these sites are granted special designations that dictate the manner in which they must be preserved and restored. In addition to the strong mandates of official heritage conservation, owners and interested parties often have a desire to preserve buildings’ historical integrity—both architecturally and aesthetically.
Construction on EPCOR Tower began in March 2008. The need to secure a reliable and experienced construction team was of paramount importance and the major trade contractors were assigned to the project within the first three months of an aggressive 3.5-year construction schedule. Due to the project size and limited local experience in this building genre, there was only a select pool of trade contractors that could complete the development from a manpower, knowledge, and schedule perspective.
The green building movement offers unprecedented opportunity to respond to challenges like global climate change, dependence on non-sustainable and expensive sources of energy, and threats to human health. The work of innovative building professionals is a fundamental driving force in the green building movement. Such leadership is a critical component to achieving the Canada Green Building Council’s (CaGBC’s) vision of a transformed built environment leading to a sustainable future.