Mo­hawk cen­tre con­struc­tion slowed by rain

Part­ner­ship, in­no­va­tion build­ing weeks be­hind as col­lege fa­cil­ity about 30 per cent com­plete

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL - MARK NEW­MAN

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

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