The Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence

The Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence

Universities
90-94 York Blvd, North York, ON M3J, Canada - Build completed in 2016
The Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence (BCEE)

story by ARUP

The Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence (BCEE)
The Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence (BCEE)
ARUP as Engineers
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The Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence Façade and Envelope

story by Blackwell

The Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence Façade and Envelope
The Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence Façade and Envelope
Blackwell as Engineers
Read Story
Doublespace Photography

The Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence

ZAS | Architects + Interiors as Architects

ZAS Architects,The Lassonde School of Engineering, and York University, have collectively designed an technological integrated structure that allows for no lecture halls, fewer classrooms and a project-based learning environment. Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence has a bold and cloud-like architecture, based upon blue-sky thinking and limitless creativity,The building’s curvilinear form appears to hover over a highly tessellated landscape.The ‘Whimsy’ abstract facade is grounded in a mathematical, triangle-based algorithm, creating a drifting cloud-like form with changing light and patterns reflected in the interior spaces, while the triangular patterns act like a “word mark” throughout the building- the windows, ceilings or walls.


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Breaking barriers in engineering education: student-driven design drives enrollment at York University’s Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence


Setting benchmarks worldwide for engineering education, The Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence re-thinks campus hierarchy to foster modern ways of learning. Resulting from an intensive design process between ZAS Architects, The Lassonde School of Engineering, and York University, the world-class facility challenges past models with a modern approach rooted in student learning and empowerment. A hub for entrepreneurship, collaboration, and creativity, the facility’s design aims to advance engineering education and provide a platform to educate the next generation of engineers – The Renaissance Engineer: a creative problem solver and entrepreneurial leader with a social conscience.


Student productivity drove the design process, optimizing spaces for learning, discovery and interaction. A complete immersion of technology and architecture allowed for no lecture halls, fewer classrooms and a project-based learning environment. Students, faculty, and staff areas are seamlessly integrated throughout the building. Inverting the typical structure, students are given access to the best and brightest spaces while offices are located in the core. Breaking down barriers, the layout creates opportunities for spontaneous faculty and student interaction within abundant social spaces. A beacon for invention in the outer ring of York University’s campus, The Bergeron Center’s bold architecture represents limitless creativity. Reflective of Renaissance principles of innovation and nonconformity, a cloud-like triangular glass façade stands bold. The undulating façade is comprised of a series of triangles positioned according to a precise and complex algorithm. Evoking the properties of a cloud, it reflects light and pattern across campus and into the interior.


Inside the cloud, rows of desks and lecture halls are replaced with active learning classrooms. A massive multi-storey materials testing lab provides an unprecedented hands-on approach to both learning and teaching that was previously only available to engineers in the field. Bright open spaces replace traditional classrooms and labs. Integrated pods are configured with audiovisual learning tools that encourage students to spontaneously plug-in. Social spaces are thoughtfully integrated adjacent to intense research and academic areas, facilitating the cross-pollination of ideas and creativity among students and faculty. Echoing the look of a tech start-up, the open, energetic Design Commons is a gathering place for learning where students are encouraged to foster entrepreneurial ideas and prototype them.


Playful, unexpected design elements are infused into the environment at every turn, creating endless inspiration. Throughout the building, a student-centric philosophy extends – even the corridors are places to learn and create with small niches, banquettes and white boards for around the clock brainstorming sessions and critique. The resulting imaginative space pushes boundaries for an equally imaginative approach to teaching, one that will empower and cultivate a new breed of globally aware and socially conscious engineers.


Flipping the Classroom - No lecture halls. - Removed barriers between students and faculty. - Active Learning Classrooms facilitate spontaneous interactions. - Allowance for more flexibility and different types of learning using systems furniture and integrated technology. - Interactive environment that is not about regimented curriculum delivery but about group learning and problem solving.


A Future Workplace - Design establishes an environment that will be comparable to a work environment. - Room booking systems, learning stations in the classrooms, can connect to a point on the table and your screen is projected, cutting-edge audio/visual and IT concepts - more akin to a business school. - Open layout echoes the look and feel of start-up businesses. - The entrepreneurial spirit is one of the defining objectives of the program and is reflected in the building itself. - A dedicated entrepreneurial lounge/presentation room allows students to conduct meetings with outside business and “pitch” their ideas and products.


50/50 Challenge - An inclusive learning environment, the building’s design responds to the Lassonde School’s mandate to become the first engineering school in Canada to achieve a 50/50 gender balance.


The Rock “The Rock” – the metaphorical base and anchoring element - The rock features prominently in the landscape, integrating with the building and design workshops and project areas located on the lower level of the building. - Many of the civil engineering classes are located along this grade level and open up onto a south-facing, multi-use courtyard that is also capable of being an outdoor classroom set within a bucolic location.


The cloud - Bergeron’s cloud-like architecture is founded upon blue-sky thinking and limitless creativity. - The ‘Whimsy’ abstract facade is grounded in a mathematical, triangle-based algorithm, creating a drifting cloud-like form with changing light and patterns reflected in the interior spaces. - Triangular patterns act like a “word mark” throughout the building, whether it is the windows, ceilings or walls. - The building’s curvilinear form appears to hover over a highly tessellated landscape as a floating cloud of knowledge.


Landscape for Learning - On what was once a parking lot, the design team saw an opportunity to create a building that would act as a gateway link at the south-west corner of the campus. - The adjacent natural conservation area along with panoramic distant views of Toronto create a “Landscape for Learning”. - Within the landscape, a multitude of spaces were created for students to learn and socialize around the terraced edges, from the rooftop to the ground-level courtyard.


Hierarchy of Space - Student spaces take priority over faculty and staff. - Labs are strategically placed throughout to maximize access to light and views. - Academic services and student clubs are strategically located at the main entrance. - Prominent panoramic views and social spaces are on the main level where students gather.


Activated Hallways - Activated Hallways inspire learning. - White boards drive collaboration and multiple spaces for work. - This student-centric philosophy percolates through the building. Even corridors become places to learn, create, and collaborate with small niches, banquettes and white boards throughout.


Design Commons - The Design Commons, with its flexible large and small group work areas, appears more like a design studio than a student lounge. - One of the building’s finest pieces of real estate, it’s constantly occupied by students and faculty. - Rich materials and wooden floors created a ‘workshop’ environment.


Student Lounges - Feature high-end furniture, finishes and nap rooms. - The Anarchist Club is a lounge where faculty may only enter if invited by students.


HIGH BAY MATERIALS LAB - Structurally impressive, highly engineered space (one meter thick floor and walls perforated for steel anchor rods). - Building within a building but also visible; insulate from noise, reverberations, dust, etc.

The Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence (BCEE)

ARUP as Engineers

Arup provided structural, mechanical, electrical and civil engineering services for the project as well as IT/communications and security consulting. The building was designed and delivered entirely in three-dimensions using Building Information Modelling (BIM), which helped to provide early warning of possible clashes and, allowing for prefabrication of building materials.The mechanical systems incorporate a range of sustainable design measures to meet LEED Gold energy targets, including airside economizers on air handlers, variable speed drive motors on fans and pumps, and energy meters to facilitate measurement & verification on district chilled water, district steam, natural gas, domestic water and electrical power.Arup designed a two-pond system to offset peak runoff flows from different areas of the site so as to minimize the footprint of storm water management system.Also, Arup successfully fast tracked the procurement of the individual trade packages.


More from the Engineer:


The Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence (the Bergeron Centre or BCEE) was designed to create “Renaissance Engineers: entrepreneurial engineers with a social conscience and a sense of global citizenship.” This, paired with the development of a multidisciplinary curriculum that integrates learning with industry and the global engineering community, will help to transform the student experience.


The new building is just over 15,000 square meters in size and over six stories, including the basement and a penthouse plant room used for heating and ventilation equipment. The building itself is a learning tool, with exposed ductwork and piping, and other physical examples of engineeringon display.


Working with ZAS Architects, Arup provided structural, mechanical, electrical and civil engineering services for the project as well as IT/communications and security consulting.


From an engineering standpoint, the project was technically complex, and several challenges were addressed toachieve YorkUniversity’s vision and objectives for the building, resulting inuniquesolutions:


Building Information Modelling The building was designed and delivered entirely in three-dimensions using Building Information Modelling (BIM), which helped to provide early warning of possible clashesand, allowing for pre-fabrication of building materials, thereby minizing on-site work and improving quality control. For the underground services installations, the sub-trade contractor was able to take Arup’s model and use it to generate off site materials take off and prefabrication. The prefabricated materials were individually tagged, cut to measure and delivered to site in packaged crates. An installation period that would normally take two weeks was reduced to three days for this element.


Sustainability The building has been designed to meet LEED Silver certification, while provisions have been made to achieve LEED Gold, including providing cable routes and the structural capacity for proposed solar panels to generate electricity at the roof level.


The mechanical systems incorporate a range of sustainable design measures to meet LEED Gold energy targets, including airside economizers on air handlers, variable speed drive motors on fans and pumps, and energy meters to facilitate measurement & verification on district chilled water, district steam, natural gas, domestic water and electrical power. A variable air volume lab exhaust and make-up air system is provided that utilizes a waterside energy recovery coil to preheat outdoor makeup air via heat rejected by the buildings process cooling system. Other low energy features include both passive and active techniques, including. • The façade is designed to minimize heat loss during winter and allow solar energy from low angle sun to enter the building • Glazing on the building minimizes solar gain to the building in the summer. Areas with high internal gains are located on the north side of the building. A green roof minimizes the solar gains and rainwater runoff. • Allocation of space on the penthouse roof for photovoltaic panels to reduce dependence on the electrical grid. High efficiency LED lighting is also used throughout the facility for energy savings.


Mechanical Engineering The heating requirements for the building are met by the University campus central steam plant, with heat exchangers used to generate heating hot water. Heating to the building is provided through terminal devices such as trench heaters under double and triple-height glazing, through radiant ceiling panels within perimeter laboratory and classroom areas, and through the ventilation systems in central areas.


The building’s cooling requirements are served from the campus chilled water central plant which nominally runs from spring through fall. A dry cooler is provided at roof level to meet the cooling requirements for the laboratory process loads and for the 24/7/365 cooling associated with the IT and electrical rooms.


A “clean room” (a laboratory with a very low level of environmental pollutants) rated at ISO Class 7 filtration levels (out of 9) is provided with its own dedicated air handling plant. In addition, three environmental chambers located in the building can each provide individual tight temperature control from 85°C down to -35° C to facilitate experiments.


Structural Engineering Creating a unique building like the Bergeron Centre challenged the team to think outside of the box to provide innovative design ideas.The building is founded on a hybrid system of foundations that include spread footings and deep pile foundations. Special concrete was used to provide a waterproofed environment for the basement spaces at Level 0. In addition, footings were placed underneath sensitive equipmentwith surrounding neoprene isolation to minimize the transmission of vibrations.


The building includes a triple-height civil engineering lab which is structurally isolated from the remainder of the building to minimize the transfer of noise and vibrations. It is also equipped with a strong wall and floor to accommodate the forces imposed by the hydraulic test equipment. The equipment is used to test to destruction prototype structural elements and construction materials like concrete and steel. The strong floor is 1m thick, while the L-shaped strong wall is 6m high and 1.5m thick. These elements incorporate a grid of anchor holes to facilitate fixing of the specialist machinery used for testing.


Other structural highlights include special daylighting tubes that were designed to be founded in the level 1 slab to allow natural lighting to enter the workshops and laboratories at level 0. An underground utility tunnel links the basement level to an adjoining building. It was designed to accommodate heavy traffic and truck loading during the construction phase.


Site Preparation + Civil Engineering The engineering team developed an early enabling works package to expedite relocation of the deep underground storm and sanitary sewers, servicing approximately 50% of the campus, which facilitated an early start to the building foundation works and helped to aid a constrained construction schedule. Diversion of deep sewers required careful consideration of impacts to adjacent foundations and building loads, as well asto the installation sequence, to minimize service disruptions for the campus.


Intricate Storm Water Management One of the main challenges of this project was to minimize the footprint of the storm water management system. Arup achieved this by designing a two-pond system to offset peak runoff flows from different areas of the site. Each dry pond was integrated into the site to complement new retaining walls and landscape features, and situated to maximize site flexibility for the project and any potential future development in the area.


Lighting Controls The building lighting control is a mix of sophisticated central relay based control and localdimming/switchingtouch screen control. Designed to meet a set of stringent international guidelines, the system will manage light levels in every space based on occupancy, daylight levels and time of day scheduling.


Project Management Because the project had no flexibility in the schedule - the building had to be open for students by September 2015 - Arup was required to fast track the procurement of the individual trade packages, which was carried outsuccessfully. Using a ‘design-assist’ approach to constructability, the project team conducted a number of workshops at key project milestones with the engineers, architect and contractor to address constructability issues.


Budget and Lifecycle Costs The sustainability built into the design will help to ensure that operating costs are kept low. Additionally, the use of BIM as an engineering design tool allowed for the pre-fabrication of materials, thereby minimizing on-site work and thus improving quality as well as reducing costs.


The completed building achieves the project vision, providing fluid learning spaces and learning opportunities through exposed building elements.


York University’s ambition is driven by a new vision of what engineers can be and of how they learn. Dean Janusz Kozinski, P.Eng., explains that the school's mandate is to create engineers who are “rational, ingenious, passionate, confident, and creative,” and who will ultimately contribute to the greater good of society.


The Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence, as a unique physical manifestation of the vision for the Lassonde School of Engineering, will help create this “new breed” of engineers who are poised to contribute to society in an even more meaningful way than they already do.


The Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence Façade and Envelope

Blackwell as Engineers

Designed by ZAS Architects and executed by blackwell, the building complex as a whole is a relatively conventional cast in place concrete structure with the multi-faceted façade and building envelope.165 unique prefabricated HSS frames describe the geometry of the façade in three dimensions, incorporating the curving inside form, the crystalline window boundaries, and the faceted triangular patterning. With the digital cutting techniques, the skeleton was fabricated to very tight tolerances.


More from the Engineer:


As the new home of York University’s Lassonde School of Engineering, The Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence is a state of the art 169,000 sq. ft., five storey building housing classrooms, lecture halls, study spaces, and offices designed to foster a new way of teaching the “renaissance” engineers of the future. Designed by ZAS Architects, in collaboration with Arup Engineering and Scott Torrance Landscape Architects, the building complex as a whole is a relatively conventional cast in place concrete structure. The dominant source of architectural expression is the multi-faceted façade and building envelope which was designed by ZAS and executed by Blackwell. 165 unique prefabricated HSS frames describe the geometry of the façade in three dimensions, incorporating the curving inside form, the crystalline window boundaries, and the faceted triangular patterning. PROJECT OBJECTIVES, SOLUTIONS, AND ACHIEVEMENTS The objective of this project was to technically achieve the architectural vision of this unique singular façade of glass and aluminium, to support the designers’ vision to give the building a cloud like appearance with mathematically randomized curved frames. For a concrete building, the façade or envelope system can be supported using concrete, block, stud walls or light steel framing. For this project, however, only pre-fabricated HSS steel frames meet the economic and technical challenges faced by the team. The faceted façade patterning, developed by Mathematicians from MESH Consulting, allowed three major triangles and several panel materials to create a visually complex geometry. The project came with very tight timelines, and as with all projects, managing cost was paramount. TECHNICAL EXCELLENCE AND INNOVATION The use of steel frames to support the façade allowed the construction of the concrete building on site to happen simultaneously with the shop fabrication of the steel frames. Once the concrete work was complete, the steel frames could be installed quickly, allowing the building to be enclosed and work to progress inside. To ensure that the erected tolerances could match the fabrication tolerances, the connection of the steel frame skeleton to the building was designed to allow adjustability in all directions so that imprecision in the concrete work would not automatically translate into perceived imprecisions in the steel frame. With the very tight quality control afforded by steel shop construction, along with digital cutting techniques, the skeleton could be fabricated to very tight tolerances. By providing the window fabricator with the same 3D models that the steel was being fabricated with (to tolerances of 3.2mm) allowed the fabrication of windows and cladding panels to happen simultaneously without waiting for the typical process of taking field dimensions. LEVEL OF COMPLEXITY AND PROJECT CHALLENGES The exterior façade followed multiple radial patterns, while the concrete building edge followed similar, but different, radial patterns. The facade was typically 500 mm proud of the concrete edge, but even this varied due to the differing radii. Each façade panel was faceted relative to the other, including multiple panels that would create single window openings. Large, varying window openings requiring tight deflection limitations. Creating individual frames that would transport easily to site was essential. Each frame was 3.6m high and approximately 6m long to suit shipping and erection. The frames consisted of square steel HSS boundary elements (perimeter and windows) with shop installed stud infill. The use of HSS was required structurally, since the torsional stiffness of the members allowed the boundary elements to crank, following the complex window forms. With a set opening date, the construction managers were concerned with the typical contract timelines, which place the shop drawing phase after tender, especially with such complex geometry. While the project was tendering, Blackwell, having completed the “scope definition” engineering work (sizing all the elements and describing the strategy), retained prepared “geometric resolution” models that would form the basis of the shop drawings. This meant that once the steel contract was awarded, the fabricator had a fully resolved, coordinated 3D Solidworks model. This left only fabrication details to the contractor and meant that shop drawing review was simple and fast since the geometry had already been coordinated between the consultants. CONTRIBUTION TO ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND/OR ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY OF LIFE Now complete, this building façade is a stunning example of architectural design meeting technical innovation. The striking natural beauty of the exterior acts as a visible entry point to a world of creative design possibilities, while the structure that lies underneath as support offers a lesson in engineering innovation. Behind the exterior lies a state of the art, sustainable building that will house young engineers in an inspiring and progressive environment, developing creative minds that will soon contribute to the economic and environmental well being of the province and country at large.


Bergeron

Eventscape Inc. as Manufacturers

The exterior public art sculpture/signage, entitled “The Ring” was engineered, fabricated and installed by Eventscape.This 3-sided faceted mobius structure is twelve feet long and built of stainless steel.


More from the Manufacturer:


Custom exterior public art sculpture/signage entitled “The Ring” engineered, fabricated and installed by Eventscape. This 3-sided faceted mobius structure twelve feet long was built of stainless steel. The sandblasted custom triangular pattern on the surface echoes the architecture of the building, also designed by ZAS Architects.

Product Specifications
BrandCategoryProducts
Anco Contracting Inc.Gypsum board and ceilings
Archmill House Inc.Millworking
CiF Lab SolutionsLab casework
Darlington SteelInternal metal works
Eventscape Inc.Eventscape Inc.Manufacturers
Flynn Group of CompaniesTotal envelope solution
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