August 3, 2006
Silicon Valley North
Kanata scores 260,000 square foot high-tech job
Humidity must be maintained inside plant
Groundbreaking is set to begin on a new 260,000 square-foot facility on Palladium Drive in Kanata.
Site preparation for the multipurpose facility for SMART Technologies began in July 2006 with an expected occupancy date set for May 2007.
The company is in its 20th year as the leader in interactive whiteboards, interactive pen displays, digital signage, and software.
Nancy Knowlton, president and CEO of SMART, says construction plans for the new building have been on the table for the last four to 12 months.
“We are currently in a plant that has served us quite well for a number of years, but it was not going to really meet our needs on a forward basis, so our landlord (Giffels) is constructing this new facility to our specifications,” said Knowlton.
The Ingenium Group is providing an “integrated real estate solution” and heads the project which will be developed and owned by Giffels Management Limited. Giffels Design-Build Inc. will be involved in construction, and Giffels Associates Limited will act as the process engineering team.
“The building has not specifically been designed with LEED in mind — although some of the design may have some point value — however, due to the sensitivity of their product, their manufacturing portion of the building will have a relative humidity level of plus or minus 40 per cent which is typically higher that standard,” said Stephen Martin, senior project director, Giffels Design-Build Inc.
“The building envelope will have to be specified/designed accordingly to maintain the humidity levels yet deal with these high levels.”
The facility will bring three Ottawa-area operations together and provide additional space for projected future growth.
“Ottawa was chosen for the project because we would like to build on the strength that we have in this location; we have a very strong employee base, in terms of capabilities,” Knowlton explained. “The location of the site allows easy transportation access for components coming into the plant and for products being shipped out.
“And we also have a good supply chain already focused in this area with the additional benefit of good access to the American market by truck<0x2026>as well as the European market by ships through Montreal.”
Smart has been in Ottawa since 1991 and according to design team, the facility will also incorporate “lean manufacturing” principles (based on the “Toyota Production System”) within the process layout design to eliminate “muda” (waste) and to decrease production costs, improve quality, and reduce customer lead times.
The facility will feature a curved curtain wall design facing Palladium Drive, said Martin.
Construction plans also include a product show room, a resource room, and meeting rooms, along with additional amenities for staff such as a large lunchroom and parking, Knowlton added.
SMART will also expand its world headquarters in Calgary, with plans for a new building expected to begin in September 2006 with completion set for winter 2008.
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