New eng building will LEED in sustainability

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

As the Bio-Engineering building is slowly dismantled, students and architects alike have come together to create a highly functional, energy efficient and environmentally-friendly engineering space.

The Claudette McKay-Lassonde Pavilion, known as “the Green Building” will be transformed from a cramped and overpopulated workspace into a more practical environment for creative design.

According to Chantel Gloor, director of administration in the Faculty of Engineering, the building is a lesson in engineering itself.

“We’re calling it a research lab, a living facility,” she said. “You will be able to see the inner [mechanical workings] so that people can see how an environmentally-friendly building works.”

David Ridell, associate vice-president for Physical Plant, said the building was designed with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards in mind.

The Canadian Green Building Council’s LEED system assesses the sustainability of design and development projects, and awards such projects with a rating.

“We’ve asked that it would be designed to a LEED Gold [certification] standard,” Ridell said. “We’re going to be using very energy efficient heating and cooling systems.

“We’re also going to use recycled carpeting and a lot of glass on the exterior of the building for heat gain and natural lighting.”

In order to get the most out of their $20-million project, architects asked undergrad engineers " such as third-year electrical engineering student Chris Gillis and engineering alum Jim Eckert " what architectural features would satisfy their intellectual needs.

“We started in fall of 2006,” Gillis and Eckert said. “We brainstormed ideas amongst ourselves, got input from engineering students and compiled a report for the dean.”

The two were chosen to represent the faculty in expressing how the space would best be used.

“There will be a large project room that anyone can use, as well as smaller rooms for smaller projects to take place ... We also suggested a lounge area, meeting room with dividers and a larger more quiet study room.”

The pavilion should be completed by summer 2009.

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