Mona Campbell Building
December 1, 2011
By CBCL, Consulting Engineers
Designed using a holistic, multi-disciplinary approach, the Mona Campbell Building on Lemarchant Street at Dalhousie University is expected to achieve LEED Gold certification. The 105,000-sq. ft. building contains classrooms and is home to the...
Designed using a holistic, multi-disciplinary approach, the Mona Campbell Building on Lemarchant Street at Dalhousie University is expected to achieve LEED Gold certification. The 105,000-sq. ft. building contains classrooms and is home to the university’s College of Continuing Education as well as the schools of social work, computer science and sustainability. It opened earlier this year at a cost of $26 million.
A tight urban site and municipal planning restrictions on the building height left the designers with a limited 11′-10″ floor-to-floor height. This created a design challenge in the classroom wing where the requirements for larger clear span structural depths came head to head with the need for high ceiling heights.
The solution was to use a hybrid precast/cast-in-place concrete flat slab system called Bubbledeck. This proprietary system — used for only the second time in Canada — consists of a shop-produced precast concrete slab soffit element with integral reinforcement and void-forming “bubbles.” The soffit element acts as formwork upon which the finishing upper concrete slab is cast in place, creating a monolithic two-way flat slab system. The system provided a relatively thin structural floor system with a high-quality finish. By partially exposing the slab soffit and integrating the mechanical and electrical services into the ceiling architecture, a sense of spaciousness was achieved.
Among the building’s energy saving features — the building is predicted to have energy savings of 52% over an equivalent MNECB reference building — is a solar air heating collector mounted on the exterior of one wall. The building’s “smart” lighting is also a big energy saver, using 47% less than a comparable standard building.
The building mechanical systems include a distributed heat pump system with individual pumps grouped in central service rooms on each floor. The mechanical system also allows waste heat from a large server room to heat the building.
Complex smoke evacuation systems were designed for the four-storey main atrium space. Once an alarm sounds, the normal building ventilation systems work in concert with power-operated doors on the ground level to make the 100,000 cfm required make-up air volume.
Rainwater is collected on the roof, filtered and then directed through calming inlets into a waterproofed concrete cistern located in the basement. After filtering and disinfection the water is used for toilet flushing and exterior hoses. Overall the building reduces its use of municipal water by 75%. cce
Civil, mechanical, electrical, energy, LEED engineering:
CBCL (MacDara Woodman, P.Eng., Kerry Fraser P Eng., Tom Watson P Eng., Greg Peters P.Eng, Tim McLeod P.Eng.)
Fowler Bauld & Mitchell
Left: building at night. Below left: Bubbledeck soffit panels. Below right: