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The Amit Chakma Engineering Building Pivotal project brings big cuts in water and energy use By Andrew Frontini

The 100,000 sq.ft. Amit Chakma Engineering Building (ACEB) transforms how the engineering experience is delivered at Western University. The building is a practical and inspiring place where undergraduate students integrate classroom theory with hands-on learning as they design, build, test and refine ideas. The university has over 12 LEED projects on campus. This was the first one to pursue LEED for New Construction – Platinum, demonstrating a leap in commitment. Its placement and orientation facilitates the building’s role as the new heart of the Western Engineering campus. Students enter via the south entrance, which connects students arriving to the campus by foot, transit, bike and car, or via the north entrance which directly connects students from the existing Spencer Engineering Building to the ACEB atrium. This new campus heart provides a place to celebrate the Faculty’s culture through events, outreach and celebrations, that is at once educational, social and cultural. Careful consideration was given to the building’s circulation space to enhance the student public realm for the engineering campus. The arrangement of corridors, stairs, landings and lobbies creates opportunities for ‘creative collisions’ and places of exchange, education and exhibition. In pursuing LEED NC Platinum, the ACEB building is designed with a thermally robust envelope to decrease energy usage and optimize passive heating and cooling. Daylight is carefully balanced with the high-performance envelope strategy to maintain envelope thermal performance. A 30:70 glazing to solid wall ratio was maintained throughout design. Glass placement is strategic, with larger glazing areas located adjacent to social and active programs. In place of blinds, a combination of self-shading SageGlass Gelectrochromic glass as well as external fritted glass fins allows daylight into spaces yet minimizes glare and solar gain, allowing daylight to still penetrate.

Water and Energy Water consumption of 248 litres/occupant/year, including both base building and process consumption, represents a significant reduction of 82%. This was achieved through use of low-flow fixtures supplemented by harvested rainwater. Stormwater management design meets LEED SWM requirements which includes a swale along the front of the building at Western Road, and a 36,000 litre cistern that reduces water consumption through a stormwater catchment and reuse system and diverts it to flush fixtures.


FALL 2019 Toronto FOCUS


Landscape design incorporates drought tolerant and native plants, to eliminate the use of a permanent irrigation system. Permeable paving allows infiltration of stormwater in the forecourt. Building-specific plant equipment was selected for optimal efficiency, despite the availability of a campus-wide steam and chilled water system. Both open and closed spaces use radiant floor heating, and are cooled by passive chilled beams. Ventilation and latent cooling happen through a demand controlled variable air volume (VAV) system, served by air handling with energy recovery. Ventilation is provided by a variable volume dedicated outdoor air system which includes energy recovery and desiccant dehumidification. Air is delivered to the spaces through low-level displacement diffusers, and modulated and dehumidified through controls for latent cooling capacity of the ventilation air volume that’s delivered to each space to match occupancy and expected latent cooling load of the occupants. 1. The copper box overhang shelters the main entrance at left in the photo, creating a more intimate south forecourt. 2 and 3. The west elevation showing the variations in glazing sizes, fritted glass fins, and continuous SageGlass electrochromic glazing..

Profile for SAB Magazine

Toronto Focus Fall 2019  

Toronto Focus Fall 2019

Toronto Focus Fall 2019  

Toronto Focus Fall 2019