Mohawk centre construction slowed by rain
Partnership, innovation building weeks behind as college facility about 30 per cent complete
The wet spring and early summer has put work on the new $54.25million Joyce Centre for Partnership and Innovation at Mohawk College behind schedule.
“We’re several weeks behind where we would like to be,” said Tony Cupido, chief building and facilities officer at Mohawk. “We’ve lost days because it’s been too wet and too muddy to move around the construction site.”
Construction of the new building began last November. Despite the weather issues, Cupido said the project at the Fennell Avenue campus remains on track to be completed by next April and open for students by September 2018.
“I would say we’re about 30 per cent complete right now,” said Cupido, who noted a warm and dry August should enable crews to make up for the lost time.
About half of the structural steel for the 95,000-square-foot, five-storey complex (including a mechanical penthouse) has been erected on the south half of the building, located next to I-wing, along Fennell on the north side of the campus, and work on the north portion of the building is expected to begin in the coming days.
Cupido said the structural steel is coming from the United States and is being finished, fabricated and assembled by the Walters Group on Rymal Road.
The foundation of the building sits on a thick layer of shale, about nine metres below the ground that has been fortified by a series of concrete stilts (60 cm in diameter) that have been drilled into the rock.
Cupido noted the innovation centre will be the first net zero institutional building of its size in Canada, which means the building will produce enough renewable energy onsite required to operate.
“On a day-to-day basis, we will not need power from the utility to run this building,” he said.
The building will be heated and cooled by a geothermal system of tubes and pumps, which will extract heat from the building in the summer and store it in 24 ground wells or pipes 180 metres below the ground in front of I-wing.
Cupido said the heat will not affect the underground rock.
Cupido said the innovation centre will get its electricity from about 4,000 square metres of solar panels that will go on its roof and on the roofs of the nearby A, J, and H wings.
Some solar panels will also be installed on the top of E-wing. Those panels, he noted, can generate some electricity on cloudy days.
Cupido said work to prepare the roofs of those wings for the panels was done over the last several weeks. The panel installation is expected to begin in September and take a couple of months to finish.
Some of the solar energy will also be stored in batteries that can be used to run the lights in the 4,000square-foot collaboratory, a meeting space in the new building. Cupido noted the innovation centre will also have access to the college’s electrical system if required.
We’ve lost days because it’s been too wet and too muddy to move around the construction site. TONY CUPIDO, CHIEF BUILDING AND FACILITIES OFFICER AT MOHAWK