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South Operations Centre

Multi-purpose, energy smart—a headquarters to serve

Fort McMurray, Alberta

The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) needed a facility that would coordinate, support, and manage maintenance activities for the public infrastructure in Fort McMurray and surrounding communities. RMWB envisioned a facility that would set a standard for future municipal projects with an elegant façade and sustainable features, but they needed to accomplish that without compromising their budget.

Our design used careful thought and planning to ensure that there were appropriate, functional spaces for all users, from city personnel to parks staff to mechanics. We designed shops for the facilities crew, parking for public works vehicles, bays for fleet maintenance, and labs for chemical storage. Plus office space, of course.

To design with sustainability in mind and operate within cost, we designed the site to connect to a future district energy system. This system will reduce operating costs by lowering utility bills and minimizing the risk of fluctuating energy prices. Energy consumption will be reduced by up to 40%, and up to 7% of the energy requirements will be met with parking lot solar panels.

Doors opened in 2015. It took three years of planning and revising, but at the end of the day, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo achieved their goal of a sustainable, affordable, multi-purpose building.

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