RJC was part of a consultant team which conducted a feasibility study to renovate, replace, and seismically upgrade four existing buildings (50 to 100 years old) at the Queen Mary Elementary School in Vancouver, totalling 60,000 sq. ft. Following the recommendations from the feasibility study, a seismic upgrade and addition project was carried out and designed by the same consulting team and subsequently constructed. The iconic 1914 heritage school building was seismically upgraded and two new school blocks were constructed to replace the other three existing buildings on the site.
The existing three-storey concrete frame building had an unreinforced clay brick façade which was significantly deficient with respect to seismic design requirements. New concrete shearwalls were constructed to seismically upgrade the building and light gauge and structural steel framing was anchored to the masonry façade to provide seismic restraint. The replacement school blocks are architecturally designed as 21st Century Learning Environments and the structural design responds to the requirements for open and flexible spaces. Creative structural solutions were used to construct the new classroom block above the retained mechanical basement which housed the existing in service electrical transformer which had to stay operational for the duration of the construction.