Journal Of Commerce — Edmonton team eyeing LEED Gold for royal museum

Journal Of Commerce - Edmonton team eyeing LEED Gold for royal museum

Edmonton team eyeing LEED Gold for royal museum

BY JEAN SORENSEN — The project team for the new $340 million Royal Alberta Museum (RAM) under construction in Edmonton is going for gold.

Photo: Alberta Infrastructure

«We have the points in place to obtain LEED Silver,» said Tom Thurston, capital development director for RAM and overseeing construction for the museum.

The new facility is roughly twice the size of the current RAM and has 400,000 square feet of space.

«But, we are also showing more than enough to obtain a gold standard,» he said.

Reaching for a higher LEED designation has been integral throughout the planning phase by the integrated team working on the project as well as training those working on site, he said.

Ledcor Design-Build (Alberta) Inc. team was the successful bidder for the project along with a team from DIALOG Design. The firm is handling design including mechanical.

Lundholm Associates which offers consulting services to collection-oriented institutions is also part of the team.

The projects branch of Infrastructure Alberta is also involved.

Thurston said there is a focus to reuse components from the old post office that was demolished in the new RAM building, situated in the heart of downtown Edmonton.

It’s an area designated as a arts district with theatre and performance art centres nearby.

Capturing Gold certification began when Visco Demolition Contractors in Edmonton tackled demolition of old post office buildings on site.

General manager Ron Visser said the company focuses on recycling efforts and when it obtained the contract, it worked to minimize landfill waste.

He estimates only 10 truckloads of material – such as carpeting – were not recycled.

He said that 4,000 truckloads of recycled materials were taken for reuse.

That included 150,000 tons of concrete, 5,000 tons of metal plus another 2,000 tons of other materials, including nine metric tons of wood.

«We recycled everything right down to the telephone line that came out of the building,» he said.

He added that by weight, 99.5 per cent of demolition material was recycled in some form.

Some decorative and art pieces will be reused in the new museum.

They include nine large outdoor ceramic mosaic murals created in 1966 by renowned artist Ernestine Tahedl as well as  metal decorative screens, and the iconic large clock dial, which was the post office’s exterior.

Unique terrazzo flooring and Tyndall limestone panels were reclaimed during demolition and will be used, as will decorative frieze art.

The integrated team was able to incorporate the museum’s needs in the design, such as the ability to display a complete part of Alberta’s natural and human history in one area, said Chris Robinson, executive director.

«We are better able to tell the story,» he said.

The RAM’s basement will house mainly mechanical.

The main level will include admissions, activity rooms, human history exhibits, a children’s gallery, a bug room, cafe and public amenities.

The second level will have a 250-seat theatre, a natural history section and staff areas, while the third level will house collection materials and more staff offices.

The smaller fourth floor will house more mechanical and a greenhouse.

«The new museum, heated by natural gas, will have state-of-the-art environmental controls that will accommodate not only the different zones within the new structure, but be able to meet stringent requirements for international exhibits, something the current RAM cannot do.

Thurston said the museum is a composite structure of concrete, steel and glass.

Journal Of Commerce - Edmonton team eyeing LEED Gold for royal museum

The building’s foundation rests on a series of bell foundation piles.

The foundation is now completed and the first floor of cast-in-place reinforced concrete is being poured.

«We are working at grade right now and pouring concrete like crazy,» he said.

The structural steel work, able to support the spans needed for display area, will begin in October.

Steel trusses formed with square box-section members are being used.

The open spaces in the trusses will support mechanical and electrical systems.

The roof framing on the various levels consists of web steel joists and metal decking, with the joists custom-engineered for each span and load condition.

The mechanical engineering has been designed to over-capacity or redundancy so that if there is an equipment failure to part of the system, there is an ability to compensate and maintain the environment needed to preserve collections.

The system includes green features such as heat exchangers in the ventilation system. There are 16.8 kilometres of duct work.

The museum’s main air intake needs to move more than 300,000 cubic feet of air a minute.

The building – which also has laboratories – will have more than 600 plumbing fixtures.

The integrated design approach ensures that the 31.9 kilometres of the 15,000 separate plumbing pipes don’t run through any of the museum’s collection storage areas located on the second and third floors.

Thurston said there will be some water recovery for irrigation.

He said the building envelope, with a high insulation rating, helped achieve points for the targeted LEED Gold certification.  The building utilizes a glass curtain wall.

The new museum will cost $340.5 million.

Leave a Reply