Text description provided by the architects. Mohawk College contracted Zeidler Partnership to lead the design team for an ultra-fast-track project that would provide a new front entrance for their Fennel Avenue Campus in Hamilton, Ontario. Targeting a LEED® Gold Standard, conceptual design for the project started in May of 2009 that would incorporate 10 new classrooms and Electronic Learning Centre (ELC). The ELC included an area for book stacks, staff work areas and a variety of formal and informal group study areas.
These informal study areas were incorporated into the link that connects the Fennel Avenue entrance to the indoor ‘Main Street’ of the campus. Classroom and study areas were laid out to be coordinated with floor and wall power and data outlets. Mohawk was in the process of updating their digital teaching equipment and Zeidler worked with Mohawk to integrate the new systems in the classroom design so that the classrooms achieve the latest technological systems integration.
The project employs a number of different sustainable design approaches such as; harnessing the existing central energy plant to circulate in-slab heating, air conditioning achieved by four separate air-handling units with one dedicated to fresh air intake, an air system that incorporates a heat enthalpy wheel to extract energy from exhaust air, a planted green roof and outdoor terrace as well as indoor air return air circulation that will be assisted by a living wall rising two levels.
The design incorporates exposed concrete ceiling and floors with acoustic performance achieved by wall treatments to state of the art classroom sound control. The fast track approach allowed for excavation and substructure building permit to be applied for and received prior to the construction start in August 2010.