The Swan Valley School Division (SVSD) engaged our team to develop a solution to their need for a bright, clean, and pleasant space for the Swan Valley School Division’s Heavy Duty Mechanics Programs’ students to work on large scale equipment, including heavy machinery, semi trucks, and agricultural equipment.
The Public Schools Finance Board, brought forward ideas and concepts to the table. Together with these partners, our design team worked to the final design of the new facility. The new shop includes a drive-through bay for large equipment and four bays for working on small to mid-sized equipment and vehicles, as well as additional classroom space. The facility has state of the art tools, allowing their existing program to expand to include more full-time students and post-secondary introductory level courses. A key driver of the design was the integration of a fully-automated overhead ten-tonne crane into the shop space which can elevate a full semi truck. This allowed the type of experience that was currently only offered at a post-secondary level, thereby providing students a real sense of working in the trade.
Creating a highly efficient, durable, and low-maintenance building was central to the design. The safety of students and functionality of the shop area were constant benchmarks in the process. Energy efficiency and lean operational costs were important aspects of the project which were responded to in the design through high-level windows with daylight sensor lighting that only turns on as required provided an abundance of natural light as well as the inclusion of a solar wall on the southwest corner of the building. The solar wall preheats outdoor air entering the building ventilation system which reduces the energy required to heat the building and meet the demands of the vehicle exhaust extraction system.
Efficiency of materials and space use was also critical to the project. Materials were selected with consideration to their long term durability and minimizing maintenance costs which included concrete block masonry walls and polished concrete floors. The instructor’s office area looks out onto shop area and the adjacent student space includes a changing area and kitchenette for the students.