Campus news

Ground broken for new Environmental Science and Chemistry Building

The new Environmental Science and Chemistry Building will feature sustainable design and a wave-like effect meant to evoke the patterns of wind on sand.

UTSC broke ground October 8th on the Environmental Science and Chemistry Building (ESCB) scheduled for completion in the summer of 2015.

The innovative building will feature a distinctive wave pattern on the outside, and on the inside an environmentally-friendly design and open-concept laboratories.

“The space in the new building will have organic and inorganic teaching laboratories with wide open spaces,” says Bernie Kraatz, chair of the Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences. “Ideas will be tackled right there, synergies can arise, and we can instantly test ideas right in the laboratory.”

The 110,000-square-foot building will join the Instructional Centre, which officially opened in 2011, in extending the UTSC campus north of Ellesmere Road.

Thematically, this building is inspired by nature to reflect both the academic pursuits of environmental science and chemistry as well as its setting on the edge of ravine. Vertical sunshades of varying depths enliven the façade with an organic built form that relates to the visual effect of a wind pattern on sand, according to the building’s designers, Diamond Schmitt Architects Inc.

The building is designed to obtain LEED Gold certification. Features include geothermal boreholes for more energy-efficient heating and cooling, and LED rather than fluorescent lighting. An Earth tube system will be used to precondition the outside air before it enters the building.