October 2018

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OCTOBER 2018 | 65 Skilled Trades and Technology Centre – Red River College PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY RED RIVER COLLEGE Skilled Trades and Technology Centre – Red River College by ROBIN BRUNET W hen students entered Red River College's (RRC) newest build- ing this fall, they were met with a facility that was built with their expe- rience top of mind and a stunningly visual celebration of the trades. Spanning 104,000 square feet, the Skilled Trades and Technology Centre (STTC) features a state-of-the-art con- struction workshop with the capacity for students to build a two-storey home, electrical workshops with panel units created by former students, as well as labs and classrooms equipped to train an additional 800 students per year. At the centre of the structure is the beautiful Skylit Galleria, comple- mented by natural light and a floor that has been finished with 60,000 pounds of recycled shaved brass, creating a shimmer effect. "Antex Western spent a year deter- mining how the Galleria could be brought to life, and this resulted in brass shavings being incorporated into the concrete, along with elements in some areas such as pliers, screwdrivers and other tools to designate certain learning areas, such as electrical," says Patrick Kuzyk, chief capital projects officer at RRC. Work on the project began in earnest in 2014 when Number TEN Architectural Group alongside associate architects pico Architecture inc. undertook an exten- sive integrated design process involving key project stakeholders, including the College, the province's Accommodation Services Division, and Manitoba Education and Advanced Learning. Thinking back to when the project began, Kuzyk says he couldn't be hap- pier with how the building turned out. "We couldn't have done it without the tremendous leadership and skill of our partners at Number TEN and Akman Construction," he says, noting that part- way through the project, ownership was transferred from the provincial government to the College. "This was a great opportunity for us to grow the project and add details we thought would enhance the student experience." The building's design includes ele- ments that reflect the engagement of Indigenous students and organizations – including window decals that depict Indigenous sayings in Morse code. The facility is seeking LEED Gold status and has several sustainable elements, including an innovative solar shade wall, live roof, geothermal energy system, building sensors, and an inter- active green kiosk at the main entrance that displays the building's energy per- formance in real-time. Doug Hanna, partner at Number TEN Architectural Group, says, "The design integrates the new building within the existing campus and serves as a connectivity hub, while creating a strong new image at the southwest approach to the campus." The STTC would appear almost to float on its dark masonry base thanks to continuous floor-to-ceiling glazing that enables pedestrians to see deep into the facility, and an overhanging second storey that is clad in a ran- dom pattern of panels composed of Longboard, composite aluminum, and solar shading. "The random patternings and materials are reminiscent of birch bark being peeled off a tree and impart a subtle, natural feel, rather than an institutionalized look," says Hanna. The building would showcase the trades being taught within – literally. "We devised the showcase galleria – almost like storefronts – running east to west almost two football fields long, whereby pedestrians would have clear views of the different trades being taught," says Hanna. Akman Construction broke ground on the project in May of 2015. Jared Akman, marketing manager for Akman Construction Ltd., says, "The design continued to evolve during construc- tion. Examples included a funding opportunity in the middle of the proj- ect to incorporate a 'Smart Factory' and utility building equipped with solar panels. We incorporated these additions into the project while attempting to meet the same timelines." The Smart Factory, which is set to be complete in November 2018, will serve as an applied research space, a technology demonstration site and an experiential learning facility. It will incorporate emerging technology to build on RRC's applied research and aerospace and manufacturing tech- nician programs. The Smart Factory space brings the total square footage of the STTC up to 112,000 square feet and will bring student training capacity up to 1,100 students per year. 1:07 PM

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