December 2020

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D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 0 | 61 PAC Building and Student Life Centre Addition – University of Waterloo R EN D ER I N GS CO U RT E SY C S & P A RC H I T EC T S I N C . PAC BUILDING AND STUDENT LIFE CENTRE ADDITION – UNIVERSITY OF WATERLOO by LAURIE JONES I n keeping up with modern design trends for health and socialization, the University of Waterloo has added 88,000 square feet of space to the PAC (Physical Activities Complex) build- ing and Student Life Centre (SLC). The stunning three-storey structure fea- tures floor-to-ceiling glass, and the new building has multiple connections to other facilities on campus. "The project broke ground in June 2017 and we hope to have completion by the end of January 2021," says Gary Kosar, project co-ordinator, University of Waterloo. "The driving force behind the project was undergraduate and graduate students as well groups from both the Physical Activity and Student Centre. The new section will accom- modate office requirements for the PAC building as well as student space for board meetings and study groups, the student newspaper, and lounge areas. In the Student Life portion, we enclosed an open space and added a flex dining area that extends Food Services for the students." Another feature along the curtain wall is an 18-inch impression using student signatures embedded in the glass to not only add a decorative look, but also to prevent students from walking into the glass. Kosar adds a green roof over the flex dining room has incorporated the University's Greek warrior helmet design, creating a unique image from an aerial view. "The original SLC we designed years ago is a very successful and pop- ular building with a great sense of social space," says Susan Lewin, prin- cipal, CS&P Architects Inc. "The new link building picks up on this social hub idea and ties the different levels together to create overlooks and places to watch the action. The One to Many Room incorporates a sliding accordion glass wall to expand space for events, and provide flexible event space. The goal is to help the new addition be a vibrant hive of student activity." Lewin says the team at CS&P Architects was impressed with the level of involvement of the students and the University in designing this building. "We had many meetings over several years and reviewed every aspect in detail. There were a vari- ety of different departments and user groups that all had a unique take on the building, and how they hoped it would serve them and make their university experience stronger. This input will ensure the building is well used, be a social hub and a successful addition to the campus experience." She explains the biggest challenge was to create a transformational link building to seamlessly integrate the old and new, creating a bright and wel- coming new face to the student centre. "The link building had to tie together three different buildings – the exist- ing SLC, the PAC, and the Math & Computer (MC) building. Because of that, there were many technical chal- lenges. The buildings all had different floor levels and very low floor-to-ceil- ing heights, which made co-ordination of new services challenging." Due to the COVID situation, the new facilities are not fully occupied, nor is all of the seating in place, but air qual- ity factors played an important role. "Very high levels of ventilating and fil- tration had already been designed into the building, before COVID struck," says Lewin. "For instance, we have dis- placement ventilation in many areas that has high levels of fresh air ventila- tion. There is also lots of flexible space that will allow for distancing options as needed." Maria Bot, project manager, Bondfield Construction says one of the most unique features of this complex is the openness and the ability to look into other sections of the building with all of the glass features. "The view to the commons area is going to be spectacu- lar and it will be an inviting space for staff and students to congregate." The new addition has a southern exposure, maximizing natural light but with the full sun, high-performance glazing was incorporated to reduce solar heat gain dramatically. "Power blinds will be installed to counter the heat of the sun in the building," says Bot. Part of the renovations aspect to the project was the two-storey fit- ness centre. "This facility was built into an existing area of the build- ing. The walls were gutted and the space was repurposed," she explains. "The University of Waterloo campus is already attractive but the Student Life Centre addition is going to make it an even more impressive institution." A LOCATION 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, Ontario OWNER /DEVELOPER University of Waterloo ARCHITECT CS&P Architects Inc. GENER AL CONTR ACTOR Bondfield Construction Company Ltd. STRUCTUR AL /MECHANICAL / ELECTRICAL CONSULTANT ARUP L ANDSCAPE CONSULTANT GSP Group CIVIL CONSULTANT MTE Consultant FOOD SERVICES CONSULTANT Legge Foodservice Facilities Design TOTAL SIZE 88,000 square feet (new addition) 36,660 square feet (renovation) TOTAL COST $41 million 4:04 PM 3:34 PM

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