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Green Building Design
NRB Modular Solutions
- Thermal Comfort Strategy
All regularly occupied perimeter areas have operable windows for occupant control of natural ventilation plus one lighting control zone per 200 sq. ft. in accordance with LEED EQc6.1 Additionally the building is designed to meet LEED EQ 7.1 Thermal Comfort, ASHRAE 55 with dehumidification to maintain comfort conditions, and EQ 7.2 – Thermal Comfort, Permanent Monitoring, that provides permanent temperature and humidity monitoring with operator control for thermal comfort and functionality through a Building Automation System.
- Indoor Air Quality Strategy
The building is designed to meet LEED EQp1 – ASHRAE 62-2004 Ventilation standards. Smoking was prohibited in or around the building during construction and installation and is prohibited in the building during occupancy. In accordance with LEED EQc3.1, an Indoor Air Quality Management plan was implemented that used MERV 8 filtration during construction, ensured the safe, dry storage and protection of all building materials, and all ductwork was sealed during fabrication to prevent the infiltration of any dust and contamination. To LEED EQ4.1 – 4.4 standards, all adhesives and sealants have VOC contents below the required limits, paints and coatings have VOC levels below the specified limits of Green Seal Standards, and the finish paint for the building interior was completely recycled. All carpets meet CRI Green Label requirements and there are no urea-formaldehyde resins used in any wood or agrifiber products. The project expects to receive 8 points out of a possible 15 in the LEE
- Daylighting Strategy
Windows are placed around the perimeter spaces of the Administration building, and interior common areas are designed with glazed wall areas and glass railings around the top level that open on to an expansive 30’ high atrium area corridor that incorporates a 10’ tall clerestory above, allowing an abundance of indirect natural light into the central corridor that connects the two story office spaces to the adjacent locker room/dry areas and the operations center. Glazed curtain wall features at both ends of the corridor are on a north/south exposure. The “Dry” areas as well as the mechanical and electrical shops all have elongated glass daylight panels around the top perimeter to allow natural light while maintaining privacy and security.
- Acoustic Strategy
With its superior insulation characteristics, double pane glazing and quality commercial insulated metal doors, the building envelope shelters occupants from the day to day outside noise generated above ground at the mine site. Inside however, the building is segmented by three separate uses; office administration, locker/shower/dry areas, and the operations center that handles everything from control of the underground mining to safety training to a busy mechanical and electrical shop taking care of equipment and machinery repairs. Each distinct area has its own level of generated noise. All interior walls are built to STC 45 acoustical standards, with some of the noisier areas surrounded with walls built to STC 55. Concrete block was used between the mechanical shops where equipment repairs are done, and the operations center work spaces for optimal sound reduction.
- Energy Efficiency Strategy
Built with recycled steel, clad with prefinished steel and architectural ACM panels, the building also contains concrete, millwork, drywall, carpet, paint, ceramic, VCT and access floor, all with varying levels of recycled content, for a project total of 26%, surpassing the LEED MRc4.1 maximum 2 points for 15%, and gaining a point in Innovation and Design, for exceptional performance. The building qualifies for Regional Materials MRc5.1 at 16% regional content, including the plant at 350 miles from the project site. Waste diversion of 86% was attained (11% improvement over LEED MRc 2.2 that awards 2 points for 75%). Water Efficiency captures all 5 LEED points, reducing annual wastewater generation by 56% and indoor water use by 37% (or 44,000 gals) with drought tolerant plants, water-conserving fixtures, and by harvesting rain water for toilet flushing. The building was 80% completed off site, transported and set in 126 modules, significantly reducing on site activity and disruption
- Architectural Excellence
To help reduce development footprint, this multi-use building lays within the existing footprint, tucking under Head Frame legs, & connecting to surface structures. Set in 3 phases, Phase 1, Operations is heavy industrial; impact resistant walls, open metal deck ceilings and concrete or linoleum floors. Phase 2, the Dry has ceramic showers & bathrooms w/stainless steel fixtures; 450 lockers, and the “Dry” itself, is a critically designed area that also split modules horizontally to achieve the 20’ open height for locker baskets to hoist clothes up for drying. Phase 3 Admin links by a 30’ high atrium hall w/ clerestory & glazed curtain wall at north/south ends for day light, and has a Retroplate polished concrete floor. Carpet, acoustical ceiling, painted drywall & glass walls & railings are also featured. Exterior of Phases 1/2 are heavy gauge steel to match existing structures. Phase 3 has unique staggered ACM panels, emulating a jagged “rock face” known as the Canadian Shield
- Economic Practicality
Results of an independent cost study on the project: 1.Cost effectiveness of Energy Efficiency measures (higher Rvalues, lighting controls, heat recovery, high efficiency equip) Est.capital cost premium vs est. annual energy savings = Simple payback @ 3.6 years. 2.Cost effectiveness of ALL green measures (premium for energy efficiencies, water efficiencies, eco-friendly materials, LEED admin/consulting fees). Est.capital cost premium vs est.annual energy/water savings = Simple payback @ 5.8 years. Our building envelope, reviewed & certified for a 50 year life by an independent Building Science expert, qualifies for CaGBC Durable Building, the intent of which is to minimize material use and construction waste over a buildings life resulting from premature failure of the building and its components” While durable materials and higher quality construction may incur higher initial costs, they typically require less in the way of maintenance, proving more cost effective in the long term.
This project is currently undergoing the review process with CaGBC for LEED Gold certification, with a submitted scorecard of 41 points. This project has applied for an innovation and design credit for “Design for De-constructability” to prove that what went on to the project site methodically in pieces with less disruption, could in fact at the end of its useful life, come out in pieces with less disruption, and possibly be reused in whole or in part, elsewhere – rather than face abandonment or destruction. We have also included with the project, a Green Building Education Kiosk for staff and visitors to the Xstrata Nickel Rim South site with “touch screen” ability to find out more about how the building site is LEED certified, and how modular construction plays a significant role in sustainable design.