Riley Brandt, University of Calgary
Jan. 7, 2019
More than MacKimmie: Facilities busy in 2018 with 300-plus projects
You’ve no doubt wandered past the massive MacKimmie redevelopment happening smack dab in the middle of main campus, but that’s far from the only project the university’s Facilities crews were tackling in 2018.
“It’s been a busy year,” says Boris Dragicevic, associate vice-president (facilities development). The years-long MacKimmie improvement is by far the biggest of the more than 300 projects on the Facilities to-do list.”
In between massive and everyday, there were loads of classroom renovations — from new comfy seating and a spruced-up look in Craigie Hall C Lecture Theatre and new finishes and upgraded technology in the Science Theatres Main Floor 126 and 128, to new floors, furniture, and power and data in EVDS studio space. Others will have noticed different pockets of new and improved spaces, from swimmers doing laps under better lighting at the Kinesiology pool and hungry folks finding more places to sit and nosh at the Dining Centre.
- Photo above: The redeveloped MacKimmie Tower, new link and block will be one of the most energy-efficient buildings on a Canadian post-secondary campus and strives to be net carbon neutral for annual operations. Photo by Riley Brandt, University of Calgary
Facilities went off the grid, way off the beaten path, at the Biogeoscience Institute’s Barrier Lake Research Station in Kananaskis. “We built one of the most energy-efficient buildings in Canada,” says Dragicevic. “The R.B. Miller facility is designed to passive house standards. The 1,100 square foot structure is a totally standalone self-sufficient facility.”
Up at Spy Hill, crews added 1,650 square metres to the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine’s Clinical Skills Building, which is LEED Gold certified. Facilities put in energy efficient features to reduce power consumption while helping boost research, innovation and learning.
While many may have noticed the new red canopy on the Schulich School of Engineering building north of 32 Ave., the mechanical engineering students who venture inside are experiencing much more. “We basically gutted that building and put in new mechanical, electrical systems and new finishes,” says Dragicevic. “We didn’t take the skin off the building like we did at MacKimmie, but we did everything just shy of that.”
Picking a favourite project in the university’s “mini city” may be like picking a favourite child, but Dragicevic admits he is partial to the MacKimmie project because of the colossal energy efficiencies being built right in. “We’re very proud of that one because of the leaps ahead we’re taking in energy efficiency,” he says. “It will be 90 per cent more efficient than it was in the '80s.”
Whether you’re walking past a building being renovated, studying in a refurbished classroom or sitting in your brand-new office chair, Dragicevic and the Facilities team are grateful for your understanding over the last year.
“We thank the campus community for being patient as we go through this,” he says. “MacKimmie and several others are significant undertakings and they impact a lot of people, more than just the ones who use the buildings. We’re very appreciative because the projects have gone very well, people have been kept safe, and we’re meeting our schedules. We are very thankful.”