Canadian Consulting Engineer

Closed Science and Technology Museum gets $80-million refurbishment

January 5, 2016   CCE

Artist's drawing of Canada's Science and Technology Museum, Ottawa, following renovations.

Artist’s drawing of Canada’s Science and Technology Museum, Ottawa, following renovations.

A building dedicated to the achievements of science and technology has shown itself not immune to the forces of Nature. Since a leak in the roof and resulting airborne mould was discovered in 2014 at Canada’s Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa, the museum has had to be closed.

The 34,000 sq.m building is a low and unassuming 1960s structure on a 12-hectare site located to the south of the Queensway and Highway 417 — well outside Ottawa’s core and the National Capital District.

The museum was a Centennial project intended to enhance Canadian’s

Entrance to existing Science and Technology Museum, Ottawa.

Entrance to existing Science and Technology Museum, Ottawa.

understanding of the country’s scientific and technological history. The permanent exhibits include a large locomotive section, the ZEEP nuclear reactor from Chalk River, and the Black Brant rocket and launcher. It also includes the Canadian Science and Engineering Hall of Fame.

Now, with NORR in charge of architecture and all engineering, a $80.5 million program of renovations are underway. The reopening is scheduled for Canada’s 150th birthday, by November 2017.

The structure was found to be basically sound, but the renovations include replacing the roof, remediating the mould, seismic upgrades, and fire protection upgrades. The exterior will have a new facade, including a large LED screen display.

There will be new exhibition spaces that will be highly immersive, including one specifically targeted for children, as well as an artifact alley, classrooms and a demonstration area.

The project manager is VerTerra and the contractor is Pomerleau.

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