Celebrating Earth Day: taking 483 cars off the road for a year!

The original content was written by Stacy Christensen.

Recently Group2 completed two core schools for the Calgary Board of Education (a core school is a set design from the government). The schools had to be built within one year but the market conditions in Calgary, at the time, had 20+ other schools tendering within weeks of each other and trades and supplies becoming scarce. Working closely with our sub-consultant team and the school board Group2 re-envisioned the core school and re-designed with entirely different trades and materials—with a focus to make the school better and more sustainable.

To meet the schedule in a market flooded with schools Group2 revisited the core school design to use non-traditional school building systems to utilize trades and manufacturers that were not over-extended with other schools. The result was a simplification of the building form and a move to prefabricated wood panels, cross laminated timber and precast concrete panels.   

mckenzie-highlands-school_1_hallway

The schools are the first CLT (cross laminated timber) buildings in Calgary. We utilized heavy timber, light weight wood panels, glulam beams and precast concrete panels. The only steel was the connection plates and the trusses in the gymnasium. The schools recently opened to the delight of the users they were surrounded by wood and light.

mckenzie-highlands-school_2_gym

As a follow-up, we ran these schools though the Canadian Wood Council’s Carbon Calculator and discovered based on our volumes of wood used that each school had a total carbon benefit of 2283 metric tons of carbon dioxide which is the equivalent of taking 483 cars off the road for a year…a substantial, sustainable contribution.