St. Francis Xavier University - Brian Mulroney Hall

EllisDon Corporation
Year Completed:

Located in Antigonish, Nova Scotia on the campus of St. Francis Xavier University, Brian Mulroney Hall is a 75,000 square foot structural steel educational facility that was completed with our design-build partners at EllisDon. Built to meet LEED gold standards, this state-of-the-art facility includes teaching/learning spaces, computer labs, seminar rooms, 300 seat auditorium, open-concept three-storey learning common, large expanses of curtain glazing, as well as a stunning set of ‘floating’ stairs. This design-build project demonstrates BMR’s ability to provide inventive, constructible solutions, not only for consultants, but for general contractors on large, complex building designs under tight timelines.

Under the supervision and direct involvement of the structural lead, BMR’s services included concept & schematic design, design development (collaborative BIM model), structural design and preparation of construction documents & NMS specifications, and tender & construction administration.

Key Points

  • Stretching over 220 linear feet across the rear side of the building and integrated into the building envelope, BMR provided a 17-foot-high, reinforced concrete retaining wall between levels 100 and 200. The top four feet of the wall system included a two-wythe assembly complete with cast-in-place rigid insulation to minimize thermal bridging and increase energy efficiency.
  • Structural steel ‘floating’ stairs from level 200 to 300 that project nearly 20 feet out into the open learning common space. In careful coordination with the architect and steel fabricator, BMR’s design includes a series of cranked HSS structural stringers entirely interconnected with the intermediate landing and primary floor girders as well as an integrated structural steel guard rail system.
  • BMR designed a three-storey, twenty-seven-bay structural steel moment frame system to resist both gravity and lateral loads in support of the large expanse of curtain glazing surrounding the main learning common. The design also included innovative structural steel detailing to integrate the narrow strips of masonry cladding between, and proud of, each section of glazing.
  • BMR provided a robust, structural steel raker system as a base of support for the auditorium bleacher system in the Learning Common complete with its own independent foundation system that also included integrated load-bearing masonry walls. Designed to minimize vibration and maximize student safety, the raker system provides a durable, low-maintenance bleacher support solution for the life of the building.