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Dalhousie University builds new $36 million facility

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In order to accommodate an increasing number of students arriving from outside the province, Nova Scotia’s Dalhousie University is building a new $36 million residence and student services centre in the heart of the Studley campus in Halifax.
Dalhousie University builds new $36 million facility

In order to accommodate an increasing number of students arriving from outside the province, Nova Scotia’s Dalhousie University is building a new $36 million residence and student services centre in the heart of the Studley campus in Halifax.

The LeMarchant Street mixed-use facility includes five floors of residence rooms accommodating 300 students as well as two floors of student service-related space on the ground and podium levels.

The university says the project will not only provide much-needed beds but also position key services in closer proximity to the students who use them. These services include a recruitment and enrolment centre as well as health services and counseling services.

Scheduled for completion in early 2014, the project was designed by Toronto’s Zeidler Partnership Architects in association with Halifax-based DSRA Architecture. Construction manager is Aecon Buildings Atlantic.

The residence provides a mix of apartment-style accommodations of various sizes with flexible welcoming spaces. User groups including students were consulted on the design and layout of the rooms.

The facility is designed as a “three finger” building to maximize the number of beds and access to daylight. Two rooftop landscaped courtyards are located between the three wings. LEED Gold certification is being targeted.

A number of sustainable design initiatives are included.

The project is being undertaken by a team that includes structural engineers BMR Structural Engineering and mechanical/electrical engineers F.C. O’Neill, Scriven and Associates Ltd., both of Halifax.

Construction got under way on the project in December 2011 with demolition of four existing houses on the street. Site excavation began the following month.

In order to accommodate the project, the neighbouring Memorial Arena was demolished. That work was carried out by Vector Demolition Inc.

Currently, site works are nearing completion. Concrete structure work is progressing.

Key subtrades include: siteworks - Brycon; formwork - Lead Structural Formwork; reinforcing steel — Harris Rebar; masonry — Darim Masonry; mechanical — East Coast Sheet Metal; and electrical — Bond & Coolen Contracting.

Aecon Buildings Atlantic said the project has not posed any unanticipated challenges from a construction perspective. The company has four full-time supervisory staff on site.

It was awarded the construction management contract in September 2011.The company is a division of Aecon Construction Group Inc.

Founded in 1818, Dalhousie has three campuses in Halifax as well as an agricultural campus in the town of Truro. Construction crews have been a frequent sight at the Studley campus. The most recent addition is the Mona Campbell Building which opened in fall 2010.

by Patricia Williams

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