Wilfrid Laurier University - New Power Plant, Waterloo, ON

Milman was engaged by HH Angus & Associates Limited to provide structural engineering services for a new power plant in the middle of Wilfrid Laurier University’s Waterloo campus.  We designed two single-storey structural steel buildings and an outdoor battery yard.  One building was 30 feet tall and housed a large gas generator.  It also supported heavy rooftop equipment surrounded by a 17-foot-tall solid acoustic screen, and a 60-foot-tall exhaust stack passed through the building.  The other building was 20 feet tall and housed a switchgear and other electrical equipment.  The exterior battery yard contained two 2000 kWh energy capacity battery energy storage systems (BESS).  The project was completed in two phases; the switchgear building and battery yard were designed and constructed first, followed by the generator building the following year.  Milman designed all structural steel buildings, equipment foundations, and the battery yard enclosure structure.

We overcame several challenges to complete the project:

  • The existing site had a very steep grade, so we designed a retaining wall around the entire site in order to support the new structures
  • The nearby Faculty of Music building and student residences were extremely sensitive to vibrations that were produced by the gas generator. Therefore, Milman engaged a vibration and acoustics consultant to complete a dynamic investigation and to advise on the forces and frequencies for which we had to design the foundation.
  • The two buildings were constructed immediately next to each other and shared a common wall. The phasing of the project meant that part of each building shared a common foundation that was designed and constructed during the first phase.
  • The tall acoustic screen on the generator building’s roof added significant wind loads to the structure.