Schulich School of Engineering - Expansion
Green Building Highlights
This 18,300 square meter expansion connects existing engineering blocks A, C and E together to support the growing school of engineering. Since opening in 2016, the building has prioritized engineering student experience by providing collaborative lab spaces, bright studying locations, and enhanced learning environments.
The south façade of the building has 200 dynamic window panels covering 740 square meters. The windows overlooking the courtyard feature an electrochromic coating, which can dynamically adjust window glass tint. Controlled by sensors mounted at roof level, these windows respond to daylight levels, simultaneously decreasing glare and minimizing heat buildup. This feature reduces building energy consumption and keeps the building cool and comfortable for occupants.
The expansion utilizes a mixture of high-efficiency fluorescent and LED lighting. Occupancy sensors throughout the building automatically turn off lighting when spaces are unused. Daylight sensors in areas such as the central atrium turn off lighting when sufficient natural light is available. Energy modelling of the building calculates that lighting energy consumption will be 40% less than a standard design.
Making the choice to minimize waste wherever possible, the building team decided to reuse pre-cast concrete facades as interior walls from the existing engineering A, C and E blocks. This decision was a sustainability win as it reduced construction waste, minimized the need for new materials and created a more visually dynamic interior.
Unlike conventional stormwater design, rainwater falling on the site is only sent to the storm sewers as a last resort in the case of extreme weather events. Landscaped areas function as stormwater infiltration basins, where rain water can be retained while it seeps into the ground. The central collection in the south courtyard has a subsurface drain that accommodates rainwater from hardscaped areas.
This project creates significant exterior open space that encourages interaction with the environment, social interaction and passive recreation. The open space includes more than 4,000 square meters of native and adapted shrubs, trees and groundcover that reduce irrigation and landscape maintenance requirements. The landscaping design integrates 21 different species of trees and shrubs spread throughout the vegetated areas to the northeast, northwest, and south portions of the site.
While not immediately apparent, the area right outside the main entrance of the building features a green roof area. Roughly 500 square meters of landscaping sits overtop the complex’s main lecture theatre (ENG 60). Thinking into the future, the main entrance roof has been designed to support an additional green roof installation in the coming years.