NSCC Marconi Campus Trades Building

The new NSCC Marconi Campus Trades Building is the first major building expansion for the Marconi Campus since its original construction during the 1970s. The new trades building was designed to house state-of-the-art trades education in the field of automotive repair, heavy-equipment repair, motorcycle repair, welding, and metal fabrication.

The new edifice is located on the central boulevard of the Marconi Campus, and is linked to the existing facility via a pedway. The building is a slab-on-grade, two-storey, steel-framed structure clad in bright white tilt-up concrete panels, accented with blue accent trims and coloured glass.

The NSCC Marconi Campus Trades Building aims for LEED Silver Certification, and is one of the first buildings in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality to strive for achievement of this rating.

Heating and cooling for hydronic service within the offices and classrooms is supplied by high-efficiency heat pumps. These water-source heat pumps operate in a closed-loop system that prevents heat from entering the system when cooling is required, and extracts heat from the loops when heating is required.

In addition to high R-value building insulation, high-performance glazing was also utilized for this project. The low thermal conductivity (U-value) of the windows reduces heat transfer through the glazing units, thereby saving energy required to heat the building. The moderate solar-heat-gain coefficient of the glazing reduces the amount of solar radiation entering the building spaces, greatly reducing cooling requirements. The glazing takes advantage of passive heating and lighting, by allowing some solar radiation to permeate into the interior spaces. The programming and building usage allows for a window-to-wall ratio well below the average. The window configuration was designed to maximize the insulation of the building, eliminating unnecessary heat loss.

The interior-lighting design is a low lighting power density. This is achieved by way of a combination of effective lighting design, and high-efficiency lamps and fixtures. Occupancy sensors installed in the majority of spaces will ensure that fixtures in unoccupied spaces will be turned off. This shall result in a significant reduction in energy consumption.

A high-efficiency, air-flow, heat-recovery system collects heat from a portion of the building’s exhaust air, reducing heating and cooling energy requirements. The ventilated-air system exchanges heat between the exhaust air and outdoor air, on an as-needed basis.