New Westminster Secondary School

As one of the largest secondary schools in British Columbia, New Westminster Sec-ondary School (NWSS) enrolls approximately 2,000 students in grades 9 through 12. In 2016, the Province of B.C. announced funding for the replacement of the original school built in 1949, which was outdated and in need of seismic remediation. The $106.5 million project is the largest in B.C. history.

Additional information

Facts and figures

  • New Westminster is the second-largest high school in British Columbia
  • The project is being built in pursuit of LEED Gold certification
  • The school will accommodate 1,900 students
  • 20,000 m2 three-story building
  • 56 classrooms

The new school provides a state-of-the-art learning environment. Designed to create flexible learning spaces, the facility also showcases several multi-purpose spaces and modern shops, along with contemporary fine art and performance space. The project also includes community maintenance facilities.

Eunice Doroteo, senior engineer with Integral Group, designed the mechanical system using a low-temperature heating water loop. This would most effectively allow them to achieve energy efficiency goals with the goal of achieving LEED-Gold certification. All new classrooms use Jaga’s low-H2O convectors along the perimeter mounted within an attractive Jaga Tempo casing. These units are ideal for providing hot water heating, even at low hot water temperatures.

In larger spaces, such as shops and the theater, engineers selected the Jaga AVS Unit Heater, which operates on the existing low-temperature heating water loop.

“We wanted a product that fits in a space with extremely high headroom, but the chal-lenge is finding a heater that has enough capacity to make sure that occupants at lower levels would be comfortable. We also wanted something with a nice finish.”

The system’s Air Venturi System (AVS) generates quick, powerful airflow with even temperature distribution. It does this by reducing the return temperature, which reduc-es stratification and the amount of cold air build-up at the ground level. This means shorter operational times and greater energy savings.

The product would also need to fit the school’s stringent acoustic requirements. This required all of the mechanical equipment to be less noisy. The use of EC motors in the unit heaters means there is very little fan noise.

“The unit heaters from Jaga are the quietest I’ve ever seen in my career,” said Doroteo. “Even though they are shops, they are still teaching spaces. That means when they’re not doing any activity, the teacher is still providing instruction. So having a quiet me-chanical system reduces the background noise to facilitate better learning.”

In addition to shops, Unit Heaters were placed in janitorial closets to prevent pipes from freezing, in weight rooms and art galleries throughout the building. A total of 37 units were used, which reduced the amount of space required from similar systems.


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