Edmonton Convention Centre: From Face Seal to Solar Power

It’s time to refit the 1983-built Edmonton Convention Centre. Join this webinar as we take you through ECC’s journey from the original design through to the investigation of failures, options for repair and the final design solution.

Event Information

The Edmonton Convention Centre sits at the heart of Edmonton, cascading from the table land most of the city is built on up into the North Saskatchewan River valley. It was designed by architect B. James Wensley beginning in 1974, with construction beginning in 1980 and the formal opening on June 22, 1983. The dramatic entrance pavilion is a glazed five-sided space frame structure, enclosed by an integrated sloped glazing and vertical glazing system by Lord & Burnham. As people descend into the river valley by stair, elevator or escalator, they pass through waterfalls and gardens. It was quite the achievement for a cold climate location.

Time has not been kind to the ECC. The original baked acrylic finish on exterior components has eroded, revealing the underlying aluminum. The faced-sealed glazing system was designed to collect and drain condensation, but it could not cope with water leakage from the exterior, resulting in leakage onto walking surfaces below and creating safety hazards. More recently, insulating glass units began to fog and many individual replacements were undertaken, but eventually all the remaining IGU would fog and need replacement. The writing was on the wall, it was time for a major refit.

This presentation will describe the original design, investigation of failures, options for repair, upgrading and replacement and the final design solution, including structural upgrades to the supporting space frame, replacement of the sloped glazing with a ‘catalogue’ system, laboratory testing and integration of photovoltaic IGU, with the added complications of dealing with an off-shore supplier.

Watch The Webinar


George Torok, B.Tech., (Arch. Sci.), C.E.T., BSSO

George brings a unique breadth and depth of experience to every project, with over 30 years of experience in building enclosure design, construction, performance assessment, failure investigation and rehabilitation for public and private sector buildings of all types across North America. George is a member of MH’s Façade Engineering Team, working with building owners and design teams to achieve balanced, practical and innovative solutions, and providing peer support and mentoring within MH. His focus is fenestration technology, including low-rise residential windows, doors and skylights, high-rise residential window wall, commercial curtain wall and custom, one-of-a-kind glazed architectural structures.