Algonquin College
Algonquin College - Algonquin Centre for Construction Excellence (ACCE)

Name: Algonquin College – Algonquin Centre for Construction Excellence (ACCE)

Owner: Algonquin College

Project Location: Ottawa, ON

Construction Completion: 2011

Building Type: School

Project Type: New Construction

Construction Value: $64.0M (Total) $17.5M (M&E)

Project Description


Five (5) storey, plus mechanical penthouse, 17,000 m² education centre including advanced technical classrooms, trade shops for 2600 students (welding, carpentry, woodworking, HVAC, sheet metal, plumbing, civil, electrical, instrumentation), meeting rooms, offices, multi-purpose rooms, lockers, library, seating area, cafeteria (200 people), commercial kitchen & administrative area.

Mechanical scope included combined wet sprinkler and standpipe system c/w fire booster pump; fire hose cabinets; smoke control measures suitable for interconnected floor space (atrium); separate storm sanitary drainage systems with flow control and management systems; domestic cold water systems; domestic hot water system with recirculation system; dedicated high efficiency gas-fired tank type heater; roof mounted solar collectors with anti-freeze piping and heat exchanger to supplement heating energy for domestic water system during favourable weather conditions; irrigation and domestic water make-up for the Bio-Wall; Refrigerated and filtered drinking fountains; heating/cooling plant including four (4) condensing boilers for heating and a cooling tower for the heat rejection, hydronic heating with duplex pumping and piping distribution; three (3) outdoor dry coolers, variable flow pumps and 40% propylene glycol piping distribution; central air handling system for cooling and ventilation of offices, classrooms shops and public areas with local glycol cooled hybrid heat pumps heating; central A/H system c/w VAV terminal units and fan powered mixing boxes (multi-stage filtration section, hydronic heating coil, glycol cooled DX cooling coil, steam humidifier section, supply fan), return air system with intake at Bio-Wall; unit heaters and reheat coils at re-circulating fan powered mixing boxes for public area heating; dedicated make-up air and exhaust system with 100% outdoor air for free cooling, direct gas fired make-up air system unit with ductwork to diffusers for carpentry booths; dedicated VAV demand type ventilation system with individually CO2 controlled terminal units, equipped with a reverse flow (Regent Eco) system for heat recovery with effectiveness of 80% in summer and 90% in winter; Siemens system with DDC controls.

Due to high occupant load and resulting high cooling load, many perimeter areas required cooling even during the winter. The heat pump loop included multiple heat exchangers to transfer the heat between different building systems/areas which minimized the use of heating boilers and lowered the building’s energy consumption.

Electrical scope included two Hydro Ottawa 1000 kVA pad mounted transformers; main switchgear; station ground grid wire; Branch 600 Volt power; dry type transformers; branch power distribution, including switchgear and panelboards; dedicated emergency/UPS power panel; 3 kW photovoltaic system on the green roof c/w smart meter and monitoring system; exit lighting and emergency lighting systems; T8 & T5 type lamps and electronic energy efficient ballasts c/w photocell monitoring, switching, and low voltage programmable relays which interface with the BAS; fully addressable, voice communication fire alarm system; emergency diesel generator.

Through an integrated design process, the project achieved 66% better efficiency than MNECB reference building and achieved LEED Platinum (the first educational building in Ontario to be designed for LEED Platinum). Sustainable design features include ultra-low flow water fixtures and infrared metered wash lavatories, rain water (grey water) harvesting for non potable re-use, heat recovery from general exhaust to make-up air system, condensing boilers with low temperature heating water, solar energy for domestic water, heat reclaim from heat pump loop to domestic hot water, solar photovoltaic for electrical energy generation, high efficient lighting, green roof (5,000 m²), “living wall” (22 m high), natural ventilation during favourable weather conditions, measurement and verification of all energy devices, high controllability, and enhanced indoor air comfort. Solar panels were used for the domestic water preheat, photovoltaic panels were used to reduce the electrical demand.

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