LEED silver targeted for new police HQ in Quebec
Valued at $16.5M, the project consisted in constructing a 6,500 sq m building. Though the functional and technical program called for a single-storey building, the architects demonstrated that it would be more efficient in many regards (functional organisation, security requirements, etc.) if the space needs were spread over three storeys. This design allowed them to horizontally distinguish the main functions, group together several sectors and offer greater flexibility in response to technical requirements.
The distribution in a cross shape, slightly off-centred, allowed the public entrance to be moved away from the secured entrances. The architects proposed a compact volumetry, reducing the building’s footprint and envelope, maximising interior / exterior relationships (views, ventilation and natural lighting) and making the building less expensive to build and operate. This conceptual choice also reinforces its presence in the landscape.
The following sustainable development elements were integrated into the project (which is targeting LEED silver certification): the control of solar gains using sun baffles on the south side and a white membrane (TPO) on the roof, increased thermal resistance of the exterior envelope, parking spaces reserved for hybrid vehicles, the use of regional and sustainable torrefied wood for the siding and the installation of a radiant heating system using geothermy.
Although the material aspect corresponds with the formal aspects, the design team integrated a conceptual approach by playing with perceptions. Just like the police corps seams unified because of the uniform but really is composed of a multitude of individuals, the dark wood siding of the headquarters is perceived in a unified fashion from afar, but as we get closer, we progressively discover the refinement of the modulation as well as the richness, the lustre and the textures of the materials.