300,000 sq. ft. Darlington Energy Complex sets stage for OPG nuclear refurbishment
Ontario Construction Report staff writer
A key component of the Darlington nuclear generating station refurbishment project, the 300,000 sq. ft. Darlington Energy Complex (DEC) is on track to be completed on time and within budget, with substantial completion achieved in December.
Paul Henke, project manager with design builder McKay-Cocker Construction Ltd., says the project includes office space for 450 staff, a public information centre with interactive educational displays, a 160-seat auditorium, a security processing centre, and warehouse space. A technologically advanced training centre and tool testing facility includes a full-scale mock-up of the reactor core. The mock-up is vital to the overall massive refurbishment, since it’s necessary for training, testing and qualifying the many people needed to complete the work.
“The project was quite complex,” he says. “And in keeping with Ontario Power Generation (OPG)’s commitment to environmental responsibility, the DEC is a LEED Silver candidate project.”
The project has achieved 73 per cent reduction in exterior lighting power, 50 per cent reduction in interior lighting power, including occupancy and daylight sensors, 35 per cent indoor water savings and hot water savings of 40 per cent. “The condensing boilers are more than 90 per cent efficient,” Henke says. “We used heat recovery on air ventilation, variable speed drives on pumps and fans where possible, and installed high performance windows and an R-30 roof.”
The greatest challenge in constructing the concrete and steel structure, according to Henke, was minimizing the acoustical sound transmission from the tool testing facility and training centre into the office spaces.
With OPG scheduled to move into the facility in June, Henke says landscaping and asphalt will be completed by spring. “OPG and McKay-Cocker proved to be a great team. We completed a very complex project through the use of a great deal of local trades and I think everyone will be pleased with the result.”
In an press release, energy minister Chris Bentley congratulated OPG for incorporating ground-breaking innovation and leading-edge technology to develop one of the best nuclear training centres in the world. “The refurbishment of OPG’s Darlington site is one of the biggest investments we’re making to provide clean and reliable power to Ontarians. It’s important to get it right to keep costs down for Ontario ratepayers,” he said.
Spriet Associates designed the project. Consultants are: Kolostat Canada Inc. (design-build mechanical), Dial One Wolfedale Electric (design-build electrical) and Ron Koudys Landscape Architects.
Subtrades include: Boyle Excavating Ltd., Drillco Foundation Co. Ltd., Alliance Concrete Forming, Albrecht Reinforcing Steel (rebar), Tresman Steel Industries Ltd. (structural), Lafarge Canada Inc. (concrete), G & A Masonry Ltd., Tosca Tile, Vipond Fire Protection, Cruz Interiors (drywall), Ritz Metal (siding), Westmount Storefront Systems (glazing