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Modular Building Design
ATCO Sustainable Communities Inc. (ASCI)
Gross Size of Project:
- Architectural Excellence
The Saipoyi Community School is located on the Blood Tribe reserve in Standoff, Alberta, approximately 200 km south of Calgary and is one of Canada’s largest First Nation communities. Overcrowded classrooms forced the Kainai Board of Education to consider a much needed expansion; however, a major design consideration was that the new addition must meet classroom size requirements and blend with the existing school, for both the interior and exterior. ATCO, in collaboration with the Board and school staff, worked to create a modular solution from an original design set to be built in a conventional way.
The resulting four new classrooms are bright, spacious and can accommodate up to 25 students each. The classrooms encompass a central rotunda area, accented by a focal point floor design and clearstory windows above, leading to a corridor with additional lockers and connecting to the existing school. Matching interior and exterior finishes created a seamless transition to the new space.
- Technical Innovation & Sustainability
The addition was designed and manufactured in five modular units; three units for the classrooms, a rotunda unit for the corridor and a mechanical roof top unit for the HVAC system. Because the three classroom units were designed to achieve maximum size and weight dimensions, special consideration was taken to ensure Alberta Transportation’s delivery requirements were met. In order to deliver to site, road surveys revealed the need for alternative routes to address both weight and accessibility concerns. Special lift equipment onsite allowed for efficient placement of the oversized units.
The brick masonry and stucco accents on the exterior building match the existing school and the interior work, including flooring, to reflect the design requirements of the Nation.
Large windows within the classrooms and additional light entering through the rotunda’s clearstory windows maximize the natural light within the facility and limit the amount of artificial light required on a daily basis.
- Cost Effectiveness
The offsite construction allowed for the site services and foundations to be completed during the manufacturing of the units for an accelerated construction process. Utilizing modular construction allowed the Nation to meet the needs of its school on time, while not disrupting classes.
The project also created employment opportunities to keep money within the community by utilizing local labour and businesses for pre-construction demolition, site preparation and foundations.