The Brief

The best neighbourhoods integrate infrastructure and citizen needs seamlessly. We guided the City of Ottawa in striking that balance by reimagining one of Canada’s largest wastewater treatment facilities with an odour-friendly focus.

Project Overview

Good infrastructure cultivates great neighbourhoods

Exceptional infrastructure doesn’t just get the job done. It operates as a good neighbour to the people who bring our communities to life. That’s why the City of Ottawa brought our team in to complete the detailed structural design of a new exterior odour control structure for one of Canada’s largest wastewater treatment plants. The building’s HVAC systems were nearing end of life. To improve conditions for the citizens the facility was designed to serve, we’d need to upgrade and improve the entire odour control system, along with general truck-loading processes.

Enabling complex overhauls requires extensive planning. Originally built in 1962, this facility was vast. It was also the only wastewater treatment plant in the entire city. Enter the need for detailed analysis, and a laser-focused design that ensured the building itself could withstand recommended superstructure modifications, new equipment, and material loads.

With that in mind, we set about planning new, steel-framed floor spaces to improve operation and maintenance; additional waste-loading hopper roofs to help resist dead and live loads; suspended steel-frame access platforms within congested ceiling spaces; and more.

This came together in a comprehensive design that sought to give the facility new life by integrating a moment-resistant, steel-frame structure, as well as a corrugated steel deck roofing system supported on a slab (with grade foundation). We designed this structure to house three large, odour control units and a 15-metre tall exhaust stack. Taken together, these features would allow the facility to function without detracting from the neighbours’ experience of the area. From access stairs and platforms to stack foundation anchorage and a monorail system: everything we created was conceived to support future flexibility, and the possibility of fully enclosing the facility down the road. We also carried out mechanical upgrades to the thickening and dewatering building at the same location.

By project’s end, we had upgraded this vital facility with an all-new HVAC system, as well as dozens of leading-edge heat pumps, air-handing/supply units, exhaust fans and odour control units. More than that, we empowered the City of Ottawa to serve its citizens with a reimagined plant that is equal parts efficient, and odour-friendly. This has transformed the way people experience the surrounding neighbourhood for the better.