Operations Control Center, Maintenance & Administration

Chemical | Alberta, Canada

The challenge here was to design a blast-resistant control building for a new chemical plant in the Canadian wilderness that brought all operations, management and maintenance under one roof, maximizing efficiency. The resulting modern, multi-purpose building is almost like four buildings in one.

This new facility includes a control room, permitting operations, training area, administration, lockers, maintenance shop and food services, all located within a single building. It expressed an “inside-outside” ethos, in that the control room operators are strategically located in proximity to the engineers who physically go out and fix any problems. The Event-Permit-Resolve timeline was minimized. The result was maximum cohesion.

Custom consoles—all of which embody state-of-the-art ergonomics—foster collaboration because management, operations and maintenance all under one roof.

The Canadian wilderness is spectacularly beautiful, but it’s a frigid, rough and messy place to locate a plant. From an interior design perspective, everything had to be extremely durable and low maintenance, which informed many design features and the overall plant room layout. For example, carpet was implemented in workstation areas for its sound-absorbing acoustic properties, while sturdy, dirt-resistant hard surfaces were used in travel zones. The result is a building that features both the hardwearing qualities of a bunker and the aesthetics of a high quality office building.

We respect the confidentiality of this client
26,000 sf / 2415.5 sm
Alberta, Canada
2004 | Built
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…the building has been influential in driving a supportive, co-operative culture between operations, engineering, maintenance and leadership. This was one of the key issues that we attempted to influence during the design and I believe we have been successful.

Plant Manager


BAW Architecture designed for medium level structural response for a 1.7 PSI, 70 M-SEC. This was an “inside the fence” property, and proximity to a potential blast was necessary, so that its effects could be dealt with in the most timely way possible.


BAW achieved the aim of bringing management, operations and maintenance into one facility for successful collaboration. Long-term return on investment remains strong for the client, due to the building’s durability. Contact us to learn more about what our team can do for you.

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