NFIRAOS Building - Thirty Meter Telescope

District of Saanich

National Research Canada is part of the TMT International Observatory (TIO), which is an international partnership made up of the University of California, California Institute of Technology, the National Institutes of Natural Sciences of Japan, the National Astronomical Observatories of China, and the Department of Science and Technology of India. The TIO is designing and constructing a new thirty-meter telescope (TMT) on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, to allow astronomers to see deeper into space and observe objects with a higher level of clarity. 

As part of the project, an adaptive optics system known as NFIRAOS (Narrow Field Infra-Red Adaptive Optics System) is proposed to be constructed at the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics in the District of Saanich. The construction of which requires a dedicated building that has a minimal tolerances for vibrations and temperature fluctuations.

Westbrook Consulting was engaged as the civil engineering consultant for the construction of the NFIRAOS building. Westbrook played an active part for site selection for the proposed building, as well as provided the preparation of base drawings for use by the design team, topographic survey, Ground Penetrating Radar survey, and the detailed design of site servicing to the building, which included the relocation of existing infrastructure outside of the building footprint.

The site is located adjacent to a sensitive Gary Oak ecosystem, therefore Westbrook Consulting and the architect, worked closely with the Federal Government’s environmental consultant to adapt the design such that it minimized or eliminated any negative impact. Important areas requiring protection included sharp tailed snake habitat, camas meadows, and Gary Oak trees.

The project is anticipated to be complete in spring 2019.

Key Personnel: Bruce Crawshaw; Ben Badke; Ian Anderson

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