It’s been nearly two years since we began considering how to resolve the space issues facing the employees who work in the Longueuil offices. We also began thinking about building a head office for AGF Group.
The expansion of the company, combined with the merger of AGF Steel and Armabec, meant we had to reorganize our work teams. We also needed to test and demonstrate the potential of a wood construction system distributed by KLH Element. The head office project thus arose from the convergence of these three needs and is, in a way, emblematic of AGF’s rapid growth since it was created in 2008.
The 800 m² renovation, 600m² reconstruction and 1,200m² expansion provided the Group with an opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to its employees’ quality of life, encourage greater use of green building techniques, as well as setting up an infrastructure that can accommodate our future growth anticipated over the next five to 10 years. But, really, how can we know what other surprises lie in store for AGF Group?
This new building is exceptional on several counts. Its avant-garde design is the work of the architects at Daoust Lestage, in collaboration with the structural engineers at Pasquin St-Jean and the professionals at KLH.
Despite the size of the offices, the effect of the light and the sightlines throughout the building help preserve a highly valued sense of closeness among employees, thereby creating an atmosphere we appreciate in our family company.
From a technical standpoint, the building’s innovative structure features:
- composite slabs (8 inches of wood under tension with 4 inches of concrete in compression);
- exposed load-bearing walls in solid wood;
- spans of more than 9 metres, with no stringers.
The all-glass facade makes the wooden structure clearly visible from the outside and also allows a maximum amount of light into the building. Ventilation systems are exposed, but all cables are hidden in the concrete slab. The result is surprising, with its clean lines and unusual warmth for a building in an industrial district.