Art & Architecture + [Wzmh Architects]

Halifax, Nuova Scozia, Canada: Nspi Headquarters by Wzmh Architects
Nspi Headquarters by Wzmh Architects

The project is located on a 5-acre site at the southern end of the Halifax downtown waterfront with access from Lower Water Street. An existing decommissioned power plant currently occupies the majority of the site; the Water Street Coal Fired Generating Station began with the installation of its first generator in 1911.

Nspi Headquarters by Wzmh Architects

The plant operated from 1944 to 1986 and was finally decommissioned in 1999. the existing building is comprised of a concrete clad steel structure that encloses several high volume spaces that originally housed equipment for generating electricity. the site contains a substation with switchgear and transformers that serve downtown Halifax. A tower supports transmission lines that feed the substation.

Nspi Headquarters by Wzmh Architects

The project involves the retention and adaptive reuse of the former generating plant to become the headquarters for the provincial electrical utility, Nova Scotia Power Inc. (NSPI). the facility will house over 500 staff in approximately 18,000 gross m2 and provide onsite parking for 150 cars.

Nspi Headquarters by Wzmh Architects

The existing building is a barrier to the waterfront. Over 36m in height, the large concrete mass with no openings prevents any visual connection between the City to the west and the waterfront between Morris Street and Marginal Road.

Nspi Headquarters by Wzmh Architects

A large transparent volume carved through the mass of the existing building, the Atrium, will form not only the main entrance to the building on Lower Water Street, but will provide a visual link through the building so that the water will be visible from the street.

Nspi Headquarters by Wzmh Architects

The building and site design reinforce the visual and pedestrian connections from city streets to the water. A portion of the existing structure at the north was demolished to allow a connection from Morris Street to the harbour. On the south the beginning of the boardwalk is reinforced at the termination of a view and pedestrian corridor from Perimeter Road.

Nspi Headquarters by Wzmh Architects

Sustainability the unique adaptive reuse of the building will be a visible statement of the corporation’s commitment to sustainability. the stated objective for the project is to achieve Gold Level Leed certification as a minimum, with a target of Platinum Level certification, subject to a detailed analysis of cost and feasibility.

Nspi Headquarters by Wzmh Architects

Sea water cooling (and heating) is being provided utilizing existing piping from the Halifax harbour originally used to cool power generating turbines. the building will represent the first major use of “chilled beam” technology in Canada. Located within the ceiling space, the system, more efficient than conventional systems, utilizes (low energy sea) water rather than air to transport cooling thereby lowering energy consumption.

Nspi Headquarters by Wzmh Architects

Additional energy saving strategies include the provision of heat recovery on Hvac, daylight and occupancy sensors for lighting and supplemental heating for both the building and hot water with the use of solar thermal panels.

Nspi Headquarters by Wzmh Architects

The “reskinning’ of the existing building shell will result in an energy efficient tight building envelope that will minimize energy loss/gain at the building perimeter. Most of the demolition residue will be reused: steel will be recycled off site, and the concrete rubble that is saw cut to make window openings will be used as fill to adjust site grades west of the building.

Nspi Headquarters by Wzmh Architects
Nspi Headquarters by Wzmh Architects
Nspi Headquarters by Wzmh Architects
Nspi Headquarters by Wzmh Architects
Nspi Headquarters by Wzmh Architects
Nspi Headquarters by Wzmh Architects
Nspi Headquarters by Wzmh Architects
Nspi Headquarters by Wzmh Architects
Nspi Headquarters by Wzmh Architects

Location: Halifax, Canada Architects: Wzmh Architects Architect team members: Jay Bigelow, Carl Blanchaer, John White, Harrison Chan, Arnaldo Zaragoza, Jee-Young Kang, Han Tang, Grace El-Khoury, Max Veneracion, Ronald Baga, Ken Price, Janet Nowakowski Structural Engineer: Bmr Structural Engineering Mechanical Engineer: M & R Engineering Limited Electrical Engineer: M & R Engineering Limited Landscape Architect: Gordon Ratcliffe Landscape Architects Interiors: Figure3 Contractor: Aecon Atlantic Group Other Specialist Consultants: Leed Specialist – Enermodal Engineering Building area: 193 000 ft² Construction cost: $49 Million Year: 2011 Client name: Nspi – Nova Scotia Power Corporate Headquarters Photography: Rpm Productions, Tom Arban, Greg Richardson

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