Former abandoned power plant adapted to become environmentally responsible headquarters for provincial power authority
The Nova Scotia Power (NSP) Corporate Headquarters site occupies a prominent location in downtown Halifax, with significant frontage on the public boardwalk that lines the western edge of Halifax harbour. The project involved the retention and adaptive reuse of a former power generating plant to become the headquarters for the provincial electrical utility. The facility, targeting LEED Platinum houses over 500 staff in approximately 18,000 sq m and provides parking for 150 cars.
The project used an innovative construction strategy that involved the reuse of the existing steel structure and exterior concrete cladding, in conjunction with the insertion of floors within the existing volume. The main public entrance on Lower Water Street, leads into a five-storey atrium that connects the neighbourhood to the waterfront, offering spectacular views of the harbour. A two-to-four-storey galleria provides an interior street for the entire length of the building. As a result, over 75% of occupied spaces have access to natural daylight.
In a gesture to the memory of the building’s initial use, the original steel structure has been retained and featured; skylights sit in the base of former chimney stacks along the roof of the galleria. The building represents the first major use of 'Chilled Beam' technology in Canada. Seawater utilising existing piping from the Halifax harbour, originally used to cool the power-generating turbines, is run through heat exchangers to a circulation loop; from there heat pumps extract cooling or heating from the system.
Demolition residue was reused: steel was recycled off-site and the rubble from concrete that was saw-cut to make window openings was used as fill to adjust site grades. In total, 86.9% of waste materials were recycled during construction, 28.76% of the total building materials, by cost, were materials that contained recycled content.