Variety of finishes reflect quality livingGroupe lépine is a prominent developer in Ottawa of high quality residential properties. The five buildings of the William's Court fit the luxury mould.
By Vincent Alcaide
William’s Court is located in Kanata just west of downtown Ottawa close to shopping, a major transit hub and enticing green spaces, and very near the Canadian Tire Centre, home to the Ottawa Senators National League Hockey team. Our firm worked closely with the developer to arrive at the optimum number of units and amenity spaces, and to ensure that the style of the buildings was distinct but visually related.
Groupe Lépine opted for total pre- cast construction because of its fast construction scheduling with the precast concrete supplier also handling construction, its durability, and for its accurate pricing made possible by the tightly controlled and relatively short production process. As architects, we’ve found that this construction material offers a range of finishes, which are applied economically in the factory as the precast components are being made. In fact, precasters can provide finish samples and large-scale mock-ups to ensure that design concepts translate into reality. Designers can inspect window interfaces, joint connections and other critical elements to ensure they are visually acceptable and will properly interface between trades. We also get interior design flexibility because of the typical 14 to 16 metre [45 to 50 feet] floor spans and fewer interior load-bearing walls.
Some of the energy conservation measures include: compact fluorescent technology throughout all buildings and suites; EnergyStar appliances; Smart electricity meters for each suite; landscaped green roofs to reduce the heat island effect, high-efficiency natural gas boilers; and parking stalls for charging electric vehicles.
Vincent Alcaide is a principal at Alcaide Webster Architects in Ottawa.
By Christine Bouchard
William’s Court consists of five buildings, four of them constructed of precast concrete. Lépine chose a white hammered finish, which it uses in many of its projects. As the precast concrete supplier, BPDL has also worked on a false-brick concept, where a brick mould was used to simulate a brick wall, which was then stained at various locations. The illusion is quite convincing. Good access to the spacious site allowed us to achieve an amazing installation rate of 12 panels per day – our best average overall in Canada.
The project of about 11,520 square metres [124,000 square feet] of facade required 1,410 cubic metres [49,794 cubic feet] of concrete for a total of about 700 precast panels. No less than seven mix designs were developed for this project. The design team challenged us by asking for a variety of finishing and colour combinations of the exterior precast panels, such as light sandblast, retarded finishing to expose the aggregates, as well as beige, white, grey and brown coloured concrete. Even natural stone was used in several places, and one precast panel could easily have three different finishes or colours.
Exterior concrete panel thickness is 150 millimetres [6 inches], and Building D, the largest of the buildings, has approximately 25 cornices, which are the heaviest panels on the building at about 10,432 kilograms [23,000 pounds]. Unusual but interesting curved panels at the main entrance required special moulds.
Christine Bouchard is organizational Development Manager with precast concrete company, BPDL.
Alcaide Webster Architects (Buildings C, D and G)
Canadian Precast Prestressed Concrete Institute
PO Box 24058 Hazeldean, Ottawa Ontario, Canada K2M 2C3