Top Projects 2010: Commercial/Winner

Saddle Ridge Multi-Service Centre

Completed two months ahead of schedule in May, the Saddle Ridge Multi-Service Centre houses the Calgary Police Service, fire department and EMS but doesn't make a big footprint.

The fully integrated and shared facility allows the city to use 20-25 per cent less land than it would have required to house the services separately. Operational efficiencies created through sharing space also decrease operating costs.

Two storeys and a basement, rather than one very large floor plan, and reduced parking space, mean the building takes up 40 per cent less site area than would normally be used for three similar facilities. The remaining site is parkland.

The functional and security needs of the three organizations differ greatly and had to be considered in the design.

"It seems simple enough to say ‘put them together and save money,' but they each have very specific and very differing practical needs," explains Linus Murphy, partner, S2 Architecture. "One works with big trucks, oxygen tanks and hoses; one has guns and high-security needs; and one deals with critical-care situations, all of which has to be considered when co-locating users."

Sustainability is a theme throughout the approximately 52,500-square-foot building, which was designed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver requirements. Features such as high-performance glazing on windows, a good building envelope and an irrigation system that uses rain and meltwater help ensure the building is environmentally friendly.

Dennis Kiddie, senior project manager for contractor Ledcor Construction Ltd. in Calgary, says that the construction of the project was virtually challenge-free. "The consultants' team, led by S2 Architecture, were a great bunch of people to work with," he says. "Everybody worked on the same team and it reflected on the way the building came together."

That team approach was a primary contributing factor in finishing the building ahead of schedule.

This is the third multi-service centre in Calgary. Kiddie says that the Saddle Ridge facility is the most modern of the three.

"It's airy, open," he says. "A very nice building."

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