A modernization of the Daniel J. MacDonald Government of Canada building, home of the national headquarters for Veterans Affairs Canada, will result in an investment that supports the effective delivery of programs and services while increasing environmental efficiency and sustainability. The government building modernization design considers specific goals to enhance workplace standards, health and wellness, accessibility and inclusion. A holistic and transformative approach will improve space utilization with upgrades to mechanical and electrical systems to create an efficient facility to serve veterans.
Spanning a full city block in Charlottetown, PEI, the 1985 purpose-built complex comprises a north block of 5-storeys and a south block of 3-storeys connected by a glass-roofed atrium. New energy-efficient, storm-resistant and bird-friendly glazing and framing will be installed to revitalize the exterior. Inside, the light-filled atrium will feature an open staircase with glass balustrades and two pedestrian bridges to improve circulation between the separate office blocks. Refurbished office spaces will accommodate capacity demand for more than 900 employees in a variety of work settings. Stakeholder engagement workshops provided insight to the requirements of the workforce with alignment to the GC Workplace Standards and Accessibility requirements.
To recognize those who have served the country, the transformation will incorporate a public exhibit and artifacts area. Visitors will be greeted by a new front entrance that symbolizes Veteran Affairs and exudes civic pride. The building finishes will draw from the rich color and material palette of PEI’s natural landscape.
As the Design Architect and Architect of Record, NORR conducted a GHG retrofit feasibility study of the building to determine the best option to lower cost of ownership over its life cycle and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The result is the replacement of existing HVAC systems with on-demand control ventilation and a dedicated outdoor air handling/energy recovery system. The combined use of chilled beams, heat recovery chillers and a vertical closed-loop geothermal system will provide low temperature heating and cooling year-round.
Structural improvements will include added bracing for enhanced seismic performance. A full replacement of the security system will enhance building entry, circulation access control and monitoring. The modernization project has been designed using the Green Globes v2 sustainable construction guideline and Fitwel principles and is committed to the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy.
Conceptual renderings may be subject to change.
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