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Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility

"... a leading edge project that Nova Scotia can be very proud of."
Michael Baker, Justice Minister

Building Area: 174,000 square feet
(Total building area including adjoining psychiatric facility: 255,000 square feet).

Number of Cells
272 general population, 14 health, 12 segregation, and 12 admitting/discharge. All cells are sprinklered, have penal combi toilet/lav fixtures, are equipped with an intercom, and maximum security sliding detention doors. General population cells have single concrete bunks and are equipped with a window and fixed stool, desk, and shelving units. 18 cells are equipped for wheelchair use.

Emphasis on Safety and Security:
The facility's layout has been designed to maximize safety and security for staff, offenders, and the public. By providing for a relatively high degree of operational flexibility, the design should continue to accommodate the Correctional Service's operational needs throughout the life of the building.

Security Technologies:
A number of state-of-the-art integrated security technologies bolster the intrinsic security of the facility's functional layout and its other passive features. CCTV, duress alarm, intercom/paging, and door control are all integrated. The facility also features "First Defence" curved-pole security fencing complete with an alarmed micro phonic disturbance sensor system. Walk-through metal detectors at strategic locations routinely screen offenders. X-ray scanners screen parcels entering the facility.

Precast Concrete
The facility features precast exterior wall systems and precast cells. In total, 2611 pieces of precast were manufactured and installed by Strescon Limited. Most of the wall panels are non-load bearing. This approach allowed the building's steel structure to be erected and roofing started, while the precast was being manufactured. Erection of the wall panels then followed, closing in the building relatively quickly. The prestressed insulated concrete wall panels feature cast-in electrical, windows, and door subframes - which further facilitated meeting the tight construction schedule. The 109,000 square feet of exterior wall panels helped the project exceed energy conservation targets established by CBIP.

As a result of careful planning and coordination between the Architects and Strescon's detailers, the precast erection went remarkably smoothly. The jigsaw puzzle fits perfectly.

The overall project incorporates 317 precast cells (there are some additional block cells) and 60 precast bedrooms. All precast cells are wet single-bunk cells featuring space-efficient mechanical chases - that are themselves a marvel of coordination. They contain sprinkler distribution, smoke detectors, plumbing - including electronic flush valves, intercom stations, and they act as return air plenums. The cells were designed with full-width precast bunks.

The bunks were delivered to the site with pre-fitted air supply ducts and security grilles. All ground level cells were erected over radiantly heated slabs. A radiant heating system was installed on top of the ceiling slabs of the mezzanine level cells. The cell panels feature cast-in keying at all panel-to-panel joints. Subframes for the maximum-security sliding doors were also cast into the panels, as were frames for mechanical case access doors.

The completed cells are highly functional. Comparative destructive testing has confirmed that the cell panels significantly exceed the Provinces requirements for security. For this type of project, precast is the right solution.

The project began when the Province recognized their need for a new facility. They prepared a Request For Proposals that sought a Developer to build a suitable facility that would be leased to, and operated by, the Province for at least 25 years.

The successful proponent was Reid Management who brought to the table a highly functional design, an experienced contractor, and favourable financial arrangements. The design was required to be economical without any compromise to the safety and security needed for the staff, offenders, and the public. The facility is intended to securely house provincially sentenced offenders who serve terms up to two years less a day. The facility houses male & female offenders in small social units of 16 and 12 offenders respectively. It includes a number of spaces designed to facilitate the successful delivery of programs focused on reducing criminal behaviour and recitivism. It also provides for the general healthcare and the spiritual needs of offenders.

Unique to the overall project, is that it incorporates facilities for both the Province's Correctional Service (Dept. of Justice) and the Capital District Health Authority, which is the non-governmental body which oversees healthcare facilities in metro Halifax, The CDHA's new forensic psychiatry facility was incorporated into the project. The two operations have in the design, both distinct and shared facilities. Although the two facilities are physically linked to facilitate sharing of services like the kitchen, chapel, and laundry, the facilities were designed to be perceived as distinct buildings with separate entrances.

In this project the design-build approach has worked well to economically accommodate the needs of the two tenant groups.

Developer: Reid Management
General Contractor: Tidewater Construction Limited
Prime Consultants/Architects: John K, Dobbs & Associates Inc, in association with William Nycum & Associates Ltd.
Civil and Structural Engineering: CBCL Limited Consulting Engineers
Mechanical and Electrical Engineering: Morris & Richard Consulting Engineers Ltd.
Landscape Architects: Ekistics Planning & Design
Detention Hardware Consulting: Simpson Detention Inc.
Precast Fabricator: Strescon Limited

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