A new weapon is about to come online in the fight against heart disease.
It's the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute, a $196-million facility that will play an important role in the prevention and treatment of heart disease for Albertans.
It's hard to miss the curved glass and brick structure, designed by Stantec with EllisDon as the general contractor, at the corner of 112th Street and 84th Avenue in Edmonton. But as impressive as the 360,000 sq. ft building is on the outside, it's what's inside that counts.
Five floors are devoted to offering a range of cardiology services, including what will be the largest heart transplant program in this part of the country. Three additional floors have been shelled in for future use.
With more beds and more operating rooms, wait times at other hospitals should be reduced. And because of its affiliation with the University of Alberta Hospital and Capital Health, the institute will provide training for the cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, researchers, and tomorrow's health-care professionals.
The institute includes energy-saving equipment such as occupancy sensors that turn off lights in empty rooms and giant heat recovery wheels that strip heat from the air before it is vented outside. Officials believe these features can reduce costs to run the building by as much as $1 million a year. The institute is expected to be the first hospital of its kind in Canada to achieve LEED Silver certification.
The building also has design features that promote a healthy environment, reduce costs, and prevent waste. For example, underground water tanks will collect runoff rainwater so it can be used for non-sterile tasks such as hosing down sidewalks.
Another innovation is the building's so-called "megavator." It's an eight-storey elevator that can rush patients from the rooftop helicopter pad to the emergency department on the first floor in just 26 seconds.
For those who like to keep track of such things, that's 350 ft a minute. When every second counts, such speed could mean the difference between life and death.
The $60-million Robbins Health Learning Centre is impressive on several fronts.
First, it's the first significant educational facility built at Grant MacEwan College in Edmonton in 10 years.
Second, it's quite a big building-27,000 sq. m. The extra space means the school can accommodate up to 2,000 more students at its City Centre Campus.
And third, it's not a typical classroom building. Designed by Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning Ltd., the centre is meant to emulate a teaching hospital. Yes, there are classrooms, but there are also procedure rooms and patient care units, along with lecture theatres and custom-designed laboratories.
Designed to meet LEED Silver certification, more than 75 per cent of construction waste was diverted from landfills. The school expects a 34 per cent energy savings in comparison to a standard building its size.
Clark Builders was the general contractor.
Calgary's stunning new $44-million Water Centre brings together the city's 800 water and wastewater department employees under one roof.
A four-storey atrium connects both departments. Open-plan offices offer views to the north as well as the south. Direct sunlight from the south is controlled with roof overhangs, the atrium, glazing patterns, and placement of meeting rooms.
The Water Centre is expected to exceed the LEED Silver rating. The mechanical design includes the use of radiant ceiling slab cooling in combination with ventilation under the floors. Evaporative cooling is used in the air-handling units, which minimizes mechanical cooling. Heat recovery is provided in all air-handling units. Rainwater from the roof will be collected for irrigation. And an on-site meter-testing facility provides recycled water for toilets.
Calgary's Sturgess Architecture and Edmonton's Manasc Isaac Architects designed the building. The general contractor was Dominion Construction Ltd.