Project Description

Schulich School of Engineering Expansion


The University of Calgary’s Mechanical Engineering Building (MEB) is part of the Schulich School of Engineering, an existing 6-storey, 60,000 sq.ft. building located on the main campus. Built in the 1960s, up to 50% of the building was originally dedicated to wet/dry labs which, over the years, were transitioned to classroom and office spaces. More recently, evolving program requirements mean the University is reverting many of the classrooms back to laboratory space as part of an ongoing project supplemented by Strategic Investment funding (SIF). AME was engaged by the University to provide mechanical engineering services as part of the overall design team for the Schulich School of Engineering Expansion.

Phase 1 mechanical scope included replacing two original air handling units (AHUs) with new dedicated AHUs sized to meet supply and outdoor air requirements for the proposed renovation, i.e. wet and dry lab spaces, classrooms and offices.  The decommissioning and replacement of the AHUs was carefully phased and completed with minimal disruption since the building remained operational throughout. Phase 1 completed June 2016, on time and on budget.

Phase 2 is currently underway and includes the addition of eight wet laboratory spaces (located on various floors from levels 1 to 5) each designed to meet specific requirements of each user group. Renovations include twelve dry labs to meet user group requirements ranging from oil storage, specialty drainage, compressed air and local exhaust. Classroom, refresh stations and offices spaces will also be reconfigured within the existing building.

Central equipment controls and AHUs, upgraded to meet the University’s control standards in Phase 1, will be extended in phase 2 to include all control valves, VAV controls, thermostats and sensors. All wet labs will be provided with phoenix controlled variable air volume supply, fume exhaust, and general exhaust. Dedicated snorkel exhaust will be provided based on user requirements.

Multiple in-line axial exhaust fans that served the previous lab spaces will be replaced with two sets of high plume exhaust fans located at roof level. The exhaust distribution through common stacked exhaust shafts will be re-used to minimize additional project costs. Detailed design coordination with the Architect ensures the current NFPA 91 fire separation requirements are achieved during the renovation. Site verification of all existing services was crucial during design since ceiling heights, shaft space and mechanical space was limited.