New Nunavut Multi-Grade School Fast-Track Construction

Good progress is being made on the construction of a new school in Kugaaruk. It will replace the existing Kugaardjuq community’s school, which was heavily damaged by fire in early 2017. The new 2-storey school will accommodate up to 450 students, with Kindergarten to Grade 6 students located on one level, and Grade 7 to 12 students on the other level. The design/build team comprises Parkin Architects Limited, Accutech Engineering and Kudlik Construction.


Progress Report for Cape Dorset High School

The Design Build Team (DBT) comprising Kudlik Construction, Parkin Architects Limited and Accutech Engineering, has successfully achieved substantial performance on the High School in Cape Dorset. The combined efforts of the DBT, the Government of Nunavut (GN), and the board of education (EDU) met their goal, turning over the school in under less than a year in a half of construction.

During the second week of August, the keys will be turned over to the client. A total of 16 months of construction took place on a 4,000 sq.ft. high school in the Arctic. The logistical challenges alone, including maritime material transport, would have pushed a traditional construction timeline to twice the amount of time. The DBT provided a construction schedule that had not been seen before in the Arctic for a building of this size and type. Using a Design Build model, the goal was to provide the client with a building in record time while also maintaining the quality and performance that the Kudlik, Parkin, and Accutech team achieves. Using the experience and knowledge of the DBT, this remarkable challenge was met.

At the end of August 2018, the Cape Dorset High School will be open to the community one full year ahead of what would have traditionally been constructed. The DBT is currently using a similar approach to building its first K-12 School in Kugaaruk, which will be delivered at end of summer 2019.

Parkin Explores the use of Art in Healthcare Environments

Parkin’s Friday breakfast session explored: What is the role of art in healthcare environments? Our brief discussion looked at how art has become integrated in healthcare design, the role of art in healthcare environments, and the numerous ways in which healthcare institutions are acquiring and developing their art collections.   Art improves the visual environment for patients and staff and provides visual distraction and respite in clinical environments. Art is a catalyst in the evolution of the healthcare environment from hospital to civic space and encourages the public to become engaged with their healthcare facility. A coordinated approach to art installation not only creates a pleasant environment, but can also improve wayfinding and reinforce the healthcare institution’s brand identity.  Hospital Art Committees that include artists, hospital staff and community members are critical in ensuring that the vision of the facility, patient and staff safety, and the rigor of art collection are maintained. Parkin works with art committees and healthcare institutions to develop wayfinding and art installation strategies that enhance the physical environments of their clinical spaces.

We found the following video interesting and shared it with our staff:            

Parkin’s Commitment to Staff Development

Parkin’s staff are creative! They are enthusiastic, highly experienced and dedicated to design excellence and the highest quality service available.

We are committed to nurturing our staff’s development and exploring their interests in the industry and beyond. We have bi-weekly Friday morning breakfasts with our staff to explore design issues, innovation in our industry, company strategies and other topics of interest. Staff members volunteer to share topics and do a 10 to 20 minute presentation followed by an open discussion with coffee and treats to share ideas, experiences and strategies.

We will post topics of interest.

Parkin Healthcare Experts at George Brown College

Lynne Wilson Orr, Principal at Parkin and Claire O’Donnell, Associate at Parkin, are teaching a new course in Healthcare Interior Design to third year students in the Interior Design Technology Program at George Brown College. The course provides students with an opportunity to understand the planning and design of healthcare projects with a strong focus on understanding the needs of patients, families and staff. Classes explore the issues of accessibility, infection prevention and control, different patient populations and their needs, millwork design, and the selection of appropriate materials and finishes, furniture and furnishings and equipment. The students are given four assignments to complete and are assessed on the assignments, a midterm examination, and a final assignment on the planning and design of a specific patient room type, including millwork, furniture, materials and interior design concept.

George Brown course description:

Interior Design Technology is a three-year program that prepares graduates to be a valuable member of the design team for interior alterations, additions and renovations, leasehold improvements and new construction. An Interior Design Technologist is a key member of the design team, contributing to the technical design of building interiors by developing plans, elevations, colour schemes and 3D models, that incorporate details such as wall assemblies, lighting, textiles, fixtures, furniture and ergonomic considerations.

York Regional Police Training Facility – LEED Silver Certified

The York Regional Police Training Facility in East Gwillimbury recently received LEED Silver Certification.  The facility comprises an 80,000 sq.ft. single-level facility containing office space for staff plus 9 technology and lecture-based classrooms, 4 of which can be combined into a single, large presentation venue.  Supporting the classroom functions are meeting rooms, break-out rooms, a central kitchen and lunch room, locker rooms with showers, and specialty rooms for defensive tactics, simulation, fitness and driver training.  Dedicated storage space for the training equipment and materials is serviced by a central loading bay and receiving area.  Completing the Training Centre Facility is a multi-position 50 metre firing range able to accommodate a variety of training scenarios.  Parkin, in joint venture with AECOM, is pleased to announce this LEED accomplishment for this training facility.

Prison Design – Ideas from a Lead Justice Designer

Robert Boraks, a Parkin Director, shares some of his ideas as a lead justice designer with the third issue of Justice Trends Magazine.  The article is titled, “Prison Design / Developing Correctional Trends in Canada:  Some Ideas from a Lead Justice Designer”, released end of June 2018.   Robert addresses:  Incarceration in Canada; correctional trends we can expect to see in the future; and what will future prisons look like?

For an in-depth view of Robert’s expertise on these topics, please click on:

New RCMP detachment in Arviat, Nunavut – Nearing Completion

The new RCMP detachment in Arviat, Nunavut is nearing completion.  The majority of the construction work is completed, and commissioning work is underway.  Building occupancy is scheduled for late summer, 2018.

The RCMP’s presence in the Arctic has been long-standing; however, its physical image as a community service has not been updated in nearly 40 years. The current detachment was undersized and had outlived its use as a functional building.  Parkin’s design approach for the new detachment provides a compact and efficient facility, while addressing the environment and construction challenges of the Arctic.

The building program provides staff and support areas, a secure zone including holding cells, and two garage bays, to meet the RCMP’s functional requirements.

The front of building contains a large open interior space from which the public has access to various areas the building. Adjacent is the staff bullpen, separated by a partially glazed wall, promoting a welcoming but secure area between the public and staff areas.

Parkin’s goal was to ensure that the RCMP’s mission, vision and values are represented through this new facility.  We look forward to establishing a basis for protective services design in the Arctic.