McGill University
Otto-Maass Building

2009-2011/Montréal (Québec)/3,250 m2/35,000 ft2

Retrofit and upgrade of laboratories by phases

Project description

Retrofit and upgrade of laboratories, including replacing primary HVAC systems, replacing primary mechanical equipments without interrupting building operations for the users, retrofit of laboratories including more than 100 variable rate chemical hoods, chemical product rooms, computer labs and a biological room for researchers working at McGill. All electromechanical systems were replaced in three of the four main mechanical rooms of the building.

Challenges and Solutions

  • Work was carried out sequentially (completed in phases) in order to maximize the use of the building for users: 7 different construction lots and 3 pre-purchase lots were performed.
  • Several meetings with various users to determine and coordinate their needs.
  • New power and evacuation systems with 100 % fresh air and recovery with a total capacity of 150,000 CFM.
  • Installing sprinklers and replacing heating coils in most of the building.
  • Four temporary ventilation systems were installed outside of the building for nearly a year to supply 100 % fresh air to areas not affected by the renovations and to keep the building operational.
  • Installing a system that allows energy recovering from the university’s main computer room located in the adjacent building.
  • Installing a filtration system combined to new high dilution extinguishers to solve their evacuation odour problems.


  • ASHRAE Technology Award 2014 | Existing Institutional Building - Honourable Mention
  • AQME's Energia Award 2013 | Existing Institutional Building - Honourable Mention

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