Opening of the Sustainable Energy Engineering Building
April 25, 2019 marked the official Grand Opening of SFU’s new Sustainable Energy Engineering Building. Designed by Revery Architecture, this world-class academic research facility will focus on clean technology and sustainable energy solutions.
Representing the University’s first major step in expanding beyond its Central City campus, this stunning 5-storey facility highlights SFU’s successful development to becoming an integrated academic precinct within Surrey’s growing and revitalized City Centre neighbourhood. Funded in part by the Federal Government’s Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund (SIF), with additional investment from provincial government and SFU’s own funds and donors, the building opened today to significant praise and admiration from across Canada.
This modern and distinctive facility is purpose-built to house the Sustainable Energy Engineering (SEE) program; a new initiative of SFU and Western Canada’s first accredited undergraduate energy engineering program. The program will offer an integrated, multi-disciplinary approach to energy engineering education to support the clean tech, renewable and sustainable energy sector. Approximately 515 students and 60 faculty and staff will utilize the research, innovation and commercialization space in this 223,000 sq.ft. LEED Gold targeted facility.
With a building program organized around a spectacular, light-filled central atrium, the Sustainable Energy Engineering Building comprises wet and dry teaching and research labs; collaboration and study spaces; faculty, graduate and administrative offices; recreational rooms; undergraduate and graduate lounges spaces, student services, and plant maintenance facilities. The atrium’s sweeping staircase, punctuated by varying sized tree pods housing Ficus King Amstel trees, brings nature indoors and offers a relaxed environment for pause, informal study and social encounters. A 400-seat lecture hall situated on the southwestern portion of the ground floor will serve the full SFU Surrey campus as well as the broader Surrey community.
Breaking from the traditional design process, the expedited schedule for the new building required a fast-track delivery method, where design and construction phases of the project would have significant overlap. The constrained schedule was also a fundamental consideration in the decision to utilize prefabricated precast elements for the façade which not only allowed the building to be closed in quickly to meet government funding deadlines, but also minimized construction debris and noise impact on site. The resultant award-winning façade is composed primarily of framed, high-performance, undulating precast concrete sandwich panels, and reflective glazing. Its design, derived from abstracted circuit board imagery (and replicated on the wooden panels lining the lecture hall), symbolizes the technological subject matter that will be taught within the building and creates an eye-catching landmark in Surrey’s City Centre area.