Renovation of University‘s MacKimmie Tower nears completion: As part of the Canada Green Building Council's Net Zero Carbon pilot, a 12-story administration tower and an adjacent academic block of student spaces are undergoing major redevelopment.
The first major project milestone, the renovation of the Tower – now grown to a total of 15 floors – is almost completed with full occupancy expected in 2020. The fully glazed operable double wall façade is closed around the entire building now. Commissioning is underway to test the natural conditioning concept of the façade as well as the HVAC systems inside the building. Starting off building operation in harsh Calgary midwinter already allows a glimpse at the exceptional passive performance of the building where now a high-performance envelope wraps around the original structure. The adjacent extension is expected to be finished in 2022.
With a 89 m tall tower crane the precast concrete facade panels and mechanical systems were removed. Almost all of the material was recycled. A superstructure in post-tensioned concrete was left, this existing concrete core was then extended by two storeys in poured concrete and the two floors were constructed with cast-in-place columns and floor slabs, similar to the original building’s construction. The double-skin glass curtainwall hung off the existing concrete slabs preheat and precool air in the cavity for use in the space (building). A series of robotic operators controlled by the building’s automation system open and close to ventilate the building. They function based on the amount of heat build up in the cavity between the two-skin facade. When conditions are right the interior skin will open to allow natural ventilation into the perimeter spaces of the building.