Post Occupancy Evaluation: Frog Lake First Nations High School

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DECEMBER | 2022 • REIMAGINE.CA FROG LAKE FIRST NATIONS HIGH SCHOOL Tus-Tuk-EE-SKAWS Post-Occupancy Evaluation Report STUDENTS GATHERING SPACE

FROG LAKE FIRST NATIONS HIGH SCHOOL

Tus-Tuk-EE-SKAWS

INTRODUCTION

Frog Lake First Nations’ (FLFNs) new Junior/Senior High School is sized at 2,440 m2, with an original construction budget of $9.8 million. It is one-storey and sprinklered, with combustible and non-combustible construction.

FLFNs needed a new high school designed to incorporate 21st Century Learning strategies that would actively reflect the Nations’ cultural and historical legacy.

Tus-Tuk-EE-SKAWS (TTES) was designed and built to be attached to the existing Horizon Arena, which contains a fieldhouse and a cafeteria with a kitchen. The new wall adjacent to the existing building was designed as a firewall built of concrete masonry units with a 1-hour fire-resistance rating.

TTES is adjacent to the existing Recreation Center. The new structure is completely structurally independent, connecting only with a new stairwell up to the second floor of the gymnasium/fieldhouse.

TTES was designed to comply with the 2015 National Building Code requirements for accessibility and fire safety.

TTES presented a unique opportunity to define an Indigenous-informed educational program that fosters collaboration and critical thinking for its students by offering innovative, intentionally designed learning environments throughout. TTES provides learning environments that inextricably integrate and connect with Cree culture and language and that support the experiences of not only its students, but also its staff, community members, and stakeholders. TTES is accessible to everyone and accommodates the needs and requirements of all students and staff. Intimately connected with the land, the building is exceptional in the scope of its sustainable innovations and “lives lightly upon the earth.”

LOCATION

The FLFNs are Cree communities located approximately 200 km east of Edmonton. The communities have over 3000 members living on-reserve (as of November 24, 2022).

TTES is located in FLFNs’ southern hub at the coordinates of 53°52’5”N latitude 110°23’51”W longitude.

SUSTAINABLE STRATEGIES

• A high-performance envelope with exterior walls at R 27, a roof at R 30, and triple-glazed windows reduce energy consumption and cost, meeting the current National Building Code.

• The strategic application of glazing in regularly occupied spaces has been designed to reduce the artificial lighting required for operation

• East–west building orientation maximizes building faces toward the north and south, allowing for solar gain during the winter. This also minimizes the east and west faces, which, because the sun is lower, can lead to glare.

• The use of solar shading to control solar gain at undesirable times.

• Operable windows to maximize natural ventilation.

• Utilizing the stack effect for passive ventilation through the use of operable windows at lower and higher wall situations.

• Maximizing the use of daylight into all occupied spaces through good spaceplanning.

• Use of high-efficiency LED light fixtures where possible.

• Minimized site lighting, with night sky protection.

• Rainwater collection for landscape irrigation.

• Potential use of grey water systems for flushing WCs.

• Renewable, durable, non-off-gassing, and sustainable materials.

• Energy-efficient envelope design.

• Reducing mechanical cooling load by using high-efficiency glazing systems

CONSULTANTS • Architect: Reimagine Architects • Structure: RJC • Electrical: Associated Engineering • Mechanical: Associated Engineering • Civil: V3 • Landscape Architect: Reimagine Architects PROJECT INFORMATION • Owner: Frog Lake First Nations • Location: Frog Lake, Alberta • Year: 2021 • Size: 2440 m2 • Scope: New Construction KEY PARTICIPANTS: • FLFNs team: Lynn Stanley, Mary Jane Quinney, Faye Strong, Mark Stanley, Bruce Quinney • FLFNs Chief and Council: Greg Desjarlais • Indigenous Services Canada: Gavin Cheng • Educators Site Plan for TTES Accessibility · Connection to the existing building Master Site Plan Ground-breaking ceremony with the entire team New High School is attached to the existing fieldhouse Chief Napeweaw Comprehensive School (CNCS) Tus-Tuk-EE-SKAWS (TTES) School Vision Statement The New Frog Lake High School (TTES) will transform lives by instilling 21st Century skills and inspiring lifelong learning in every student by creating an environment that celebrates community culture and history through collaborative landbased learning and activity-based learning; and by creating an inspiring and challenging learning environment. It will establish a community of learners and learning through relationships, relevance, and rigor, whose graduates are prepared to excel in a complex, interconnected, changing world. Post-
Evaluation A post-occupancy evaluation (POE) is a formal way of evaluating the actual performance of an occupied building compared to its design goals. The results of a POE are used to inform the design of future buildings. Reimagine has made postoccupancy evaluations a standard practice in its process. 1 • REIMAGINE ARCHITECTS LTD. FROG LAKE FIRST NATIONS TTES SCHOOLPOST OCCUPANCY EVALUATION REPORT (POE) | DECEMBER 2022 •
Occupancy

PLANNING AND PRE-DESIGN PHASE

Throughout the planning phase, the entire team with the stakeholders gathered several times to set the project parameters and scope and develop the design.

In addition to regular meetings with the consultants, as well as workshops with teachers, the students were asked for feedback. The workshops continued to be held during construction. The design team, in collaboration with the client and consultants, was able to ensure that priorities and needs were met with the challenges of the revised school budget.

This stage synthesized the workshop outputs and incorporated the comments received from the teachers, community, and students in order to solidify the design concept. It also saw the creation of all project construction documents.

In this phase, the team held regular site visits with the inclusion of all consultants to

The project created an opportunity for local Indigenous trades and labourers to be involoved; at any moment during construction, 20-50% of the labour came from within the community. Local vendors and suppliers were engaged, and even high school students received work experience during the summer season.

Pandemic Delay: The project’s delays were the result of the unpredictable external factors caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the first Alberta lockdown beginning in March of 2020. This occured at the initinal phase of the project’s construction.

The project was affected by the supply chain interruptions, shortages of labour due to isolation, and the limited access to the school for regular site reviews, as well as the complete closure of Frog Lake First Nations for a period of time due to the increases in COVID-19 cases.

A revised project schedule was established to reflect the delays, and mitigation measures were engaged to help manage the COVID-19 crisis.

OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE PHASE

The operations and maintenance phase is increasingly being recognized for the important role that it plays by providing teachers and students with optimal learning environments. The contractor prepared an O&M manual to assist administrators and staff with keeping the facility in tip-top shape moving forward.

Reimagine followed up with the contractor to ensure all work was completed as instructed and on time to ensure:

• Clean, healthy, and environmentally safe teaching and learning environments throughout

• That the building systems support the desired learning environment through efficient and reliable services

• That the building meets or exceed its life cycle

• That responsive and responsible maintenance programs are thoroughly and precisely maintained as part of the school’s infrastructure.

This report takes examines the actual performance of the FLFNs TTES building and occupant satisfaction two years into occupancy. It builds on the building’s one-year warranty review, which brought together staff, students, and community members to evaluate the integrated design process, and it provides opportunities for improvement in the building’s operations. Occupants of the buildings were interviewed to report their experiences in the space.

Tus-Tuk-EE-SKAWS School’s learning spaces have a positive and engagingenvironment where teachers can give their students the physical, psychological, and emotional support they need to thrive and be successful both in school and beyond.

• The center is the Learning Commons, acting as communal space for reading, meeting, drama, and musical presentations.

• The classrooms are arranged around the “Learning Commons”, with the Junior classrooms to the south and the Senior classrooms to the northwest. The classsrooms were designed to be communities where learning happens. This sense of community allows students to feel connected to one another and their teachers and to engage in collaborative, active learning. The clarssrooms are featured with sliding doors that feed into common spaces and that can also be easily closed for more privacy and security, which will allow students to explore learning in an engaging and collaborative way.

• The “Maker Spaces” (CTS, Home Economics, and Science Lab) share the Senior High School Learning Commons. There is a strong and direct connection between the classrooms and learning space (classrooms) and the communal “Living Spaces” of the Learning Commons.

• Gathering spaces for students, with flexible layouts and mobile furtniture (sofas, lockers, tables, and chairs), allow for students to become a part of creating their own learning environment and to make them feel more connected to the environment as they have a hand in shaping it.

2 • REIMAGINE ARCHITECTS LTD. FROG LAKE FIRST NATIONS TTES SCHOOLPOST OCCUPANCY EVALUATION REPORT (POE) | DECEMBER 2022 •
THE JOURNEY 1. 3.
Beams Intallation - Construction Interior Finishes Board Classrooms’ interior elevation shows the curved-edge tack boards inspired by the site topography and site hills Design Review workshop - Teachers Leadership Workshop Teacher Collaboration Space
2. DESIGN AND COORDINATION CONSTRUCTION OCCUPANCY THE SCHOOL AS A LEARNING ENVIRONMENT POST-OCCUPANCY EVALUATION

LESSONS

LEARNED FROM THE POST-OCCUPANCY EVALUATION

APPEARANCE

Exterior

The exterior aesthetic of TTES is designed to situate the building within its context. The primary cladding material is phenolic wood panelling. This is a durable, low-maintenance, vandalism-resistant material that is available in a variety of finishes. At each entrance, larger green phenolic panels are used to further emphasize the school’s values of connection to the land. The building features mass timber glulam beams, columns, and curves throughout the structure. A glulam and CLT canopy highlights the entrance to the school. The structural wood products are featured prominently in the design, which include Spruce Pine glulam columns and beams, along with Douglas Fir glulam curves.

21ST CENTURY LEARNING

TTES is designed to align with 21st Century Learning, an enlightened pedagogy direction that encourages healthy learning environments that meet current and future educational needs. Such spaces allow for the physical environment to positively alter the social environment to one that promotes focused collaboration and flexibility, and these spaces can keep up with the ever-changing demands of education. The Frog Lake Education Authority and teachers voted in favour of utilizing this framework in the school’s design. Extra consultation was required to confirm that the building’s acoustics performed well.

LIGHTING AND DAYLIGHT

To allow for adequate lighting, LEDstyle lamp lighting fixtures are spread throughout the building. Lighting control panels, occupancy sensors, daylight harvesting, and local lighting switches have been provided for easy control and to comply with the National Energy Code NEBC. Exterior LED lights are over exterior doorways and all around the school and the on-site poles–all of which are controlled by a common photocell mounted on the building roofline above the light level.

ACOUSTICS

ENERGY PERFORMANCE

An Energy Effeciency Report was conducted by Williams Engineering for TTESl. The building was constructed in 2021 and was designed to meet the National Energy Code for Buildings (NECB) 2017.

The energy audit followed the ASHRAE 211 standard for Commercial Building Energy audits, Level 2. The goal of this study was to analyze the current energy performance of the property, conduct an onsite assessment, and produce a list of the following, complete with implementation costs: Energy Conservation Measures/Energy Efficiency Measures (ECMs/EEMs).

The current annual utility consumption for this facility is approximately 208,376 kWh of electricity, and 1,544 GJ of natural gas, for a total cost of $50,565 per year.

The EUI for this facility was 0.82 GJ/m2 (228 ekWh/m2), which is less than the Natural Resources Canada Office of Energy Efficiency (OEE) benchmark for educational facilities in Alberta of 1.9 GJ/m2.

Interior

Inspiration for the interiors flows from the turtle, which is a symbol to the community and considered as “Mother Earth”. In the school’s design concept, the turtle is the heart of the school, and it brings life and nature to the indoor learning spaces, reflecting the culture and the community’s values and beliefs. The community was strongly supportive of the concept of Mother Earth in the Cree worldview as it encompasses the land, as well as all of the animals, minerals, rocks, and plant life that are interconnected with humans. Cree people do not use the products and materials of Mother Earth as commodities, but rather, they regard them as relatives and treat them with the utmost respect.

One can see the school as a series of zones: the community zone, the quiet zone, the Junior High and Senior High zones, and the maker zone. These zones were inspired by integration with the turtle and circle of life, and each is surrounded with a different zone and has its own theme and they complement each other.

The rating for lighting was provided the students and teachers based on the significant amount of glazing throughout the building, which allows for plenty of natural daylight to come through. Maximizing the use of daylight is part of the building’s overarching passive building strategy. Well-balanced natural daylight fills the ceremony space through translucent panel cladding in the cylindrical ceremony room. Light is emitted from the same cylindrical ceremony space at night, and the glow is reminiscient of teepees at dusk. Those same translucent panels help reduce heating and cooling loads by controlling solar heat gain, as it is a south-facing space.

Acoustics throughout the building were designed with intention, with fabric-wrapped panels offering acoustic dampening on select ceilings and walls. Reimagine worked with othe acoustic consultant and identified the spaces that could suffer from excess noise, which will therefore affect the rating for this element. In the future, additional acoustical treatments will be required, either in the form of wall panels or ceiling clouds.

As shown in the graphs above, although most of the energy consumption is natural gas, electricity is the more significant factor for cost and emissions. In Alberta, electricity is typically more expensive and has a higher carbon emissions intensity than natural gas.

AIR QUALITY AND THERMAL COMFORT

Operable windows provide for 90% of the occupied spaces, enhancing ventilation during warmer weather. To conserve heat during the winter and avoid overheating spaces adjacent to the windows during high solar loads, the windows are relatively high-performance. The windows and the curtain walls are triple-pane glazing. The glass units are air-filled, with two low-emissivity coatings (low-E). The indoor design conditions will be based upon the ASHRAE 62.1 and 55 Standards and the Alberta Building Code Requirements for indoor air quality and thermal comfort.

The intent was to provide an indoor environment with superior quality characteristics in order to create a better work environment for the school staff and the students, thus improving the learning process.

3 • REIMAGINE ARCHITECTS LTD. FROG LAKE FIRST NATIONS TTES SCHOOLPOST OCCUPANCY EVALUATION REPORT (POE) | DECEMBER 2022 •
Teachers Workshop Functional Zoning Built-in Display Main Entrance Auditorium and Learning Common
4 • REIMAGINE ARCHITECTS LTD. FROG LAKE FIRST NATIONS TTES SCHOOLPOST OCCUPANCY EVALUATION REPORT (POE) | DECEMBER 2022 • Frog Lake First Nations TTES School 53°52’5”N latitude 110°23’51”W longitude.
auditorium is my favourite space” -Student
School gave me a place to feel like home and be secured”
Energy use in TTSE is well below average for schools in Alberta” -Energy effeciency Report
“The
“The
“The
“The classrooms are large and beautifully bright”
-Teacher
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