Built in 1913, the new home of Viterra’s corporate head office was once the site of Sherwood Department Store, the oldest pre-World War 1 department store in Regina. Viterra looked to maintain the historic beauty of the building while creating a modernized office space for their employees. They brought onboard two architectural teams to shape the company’s vision for its corporate head office in the heart of Regina: one consulting firm to imagine a modern interior and another to recreate the 1913 heritage exterior.
The freeze and thaw cycles of Canadian seasons caused decades of damage to the exterior walls of the building. After repairing masonry and terra cotta, the team installed a Virtual Air Barrier (VAB) mechanical system, the first of its kind in Western Canada, to ensure further damage would not occur. The VAB system uses outdoor air, preheated if necessary, to create a pressurized cavity within the exterior wall. This pressure prevents moist indoor air from penetrating exterior walls and causing freeze-thaw damage to the building. The use of this concept required an airtight cavity and required a tremendous amount of dedication and teamwork to implement the VAB on a building of this age. We met continually with the consultant and reviewed every section to ensure team members were taking the correct steps to address any cracks in the system.
Ultimately, the VAB system and project were successful because of a strong, trusting relationship between all parties.
While completing the Exterior Façade Project, work continued inside the building as we carried out renovations to five floors of office space, upgrades to the exhaust and electrical systems, bathrooms, lobby area and the construction of a restaurant located inside the office building.