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Algonquin Centre for Construction Excellence opens in Ottawa


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November 28, 2011 by Andrew Snook

The Algonquin Centre for Construction Excellence (ACCE) is ready to build a brighter future for Canada’s skilled trades workers.

Representatives from the college held an official ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, Nov. 25, celebrating the 190,000 square-foot centre of learning.

Officially opened on Aug. 29, the $79-million facility was designed to house 2,500 full-time students and an additional 5,000 part-time students.

“This investment in the Algonquin Centre for Construction Excellence will help us to continue to build on our commitment to train the workforce of tomorrow and provides our students with new ways to learn through living laboratories, interdisciplinary study, and sustainability built directly into the curriculum,” said Algonquin College’s president Robert Gillett.

The “Living Lab” offers 600 new construction trades spaces for construction, design, engineering and skilled trades students.

The green facility is designed to be LEED platinum certified, and promote collaborative efforts between various disciplines, while offering students integrated, cross-program learning.

Some of the building’s green features include: a stormwater recovery system for flushing toilets, solar panels for heating water, a five-storey living green wall covered with plants, and R50 insulated roof, air conditioning and heating provided by heat pump technology and a green roof to help offset the sun’s heat.

Many of the building and environmental systems were left exposed with viewing windows to provide students with an opportunity to see aspects of how the facility functions. Some of the features include: exposed diagonal bracing, intumescent fireproofing, cast-in-place concrete frames, T5 linear florescent lights, exposed pile caps and grade beams and built-in sensors offering real-time and historical building diagnostics displayed on LCD screens.

The architects were Diamond and Schmitt Architects Inc., and Edward J. Cuhaci and Associates Architect Inc. EllisDon Corporation was the design-build company.

The building was funded through $35 million in investments from federal and provincial levels of government, as well as $7 million from the Constructing our Future Capital Campaign and $2 million from the City of Ottawa (land donation).

John Baird, Minister of Foreign Affairs and MP for Ottawa West – Nepean, and Ontario’s Minister of Transportation Bob Chiarelli, were both on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“This building represents the very best Algonquin has to offer and will give a generation of skilled trades people the tools they need to succeed,” Baird said.

Federal funding was made possible through the Knowledge Infrastructure Program (KIP), while the provincial funds came from the Strategic Skills Training Investment Program.

“Algonquin’s Centre for Construction Excellence has created 778 jobs and is a great example of what we can achieve when we work together,” said Chiarelli.


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