University of Calgary

EEEL building goes platinum

UToday HomeApril 2, 2013

EEEL uses 78 per cent less energy compared to a conventional laboratory building. Photos by Tom ArbanEEEL uses 78 per cent less energy compared to a conventional laboratory building. Photos by Tom ArbanThe University of Calgary’s Energy. Environment. Experiential. Learning (EEEL) building has received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum certification, confirming that it’s one of the most energy-efficient laboratory buildings in North America.

EEEL, which opened in September 2011, is one of 29 buildings across Canada to achieve the highest LEED certification. Only four of those buildings are on Canadian university or college campuses with two at the University of Calgary: EEEL and the Child Development Centre.

“Achieving a platinum certification in a laboratory building like EEEL is challenging because labs are so energy intensive,” says Bob Ellard, vice-president (facilities management and development) at the University of Calgary. “The university worked closely with architects, engineers, contractors, subcontractors and suppliers to create this world-class interdisciplinary building that is helping our students, faculty and researchers be the best in the world.”

EEEL uses 78 per cent less energy compared to a conventional laboratory building. Natural light pours through triple-glazed windows and reflective surfaces scatter it throughout the building.  Occupancy sensors and smart timing schedules control high-efficiency light fixtures when the sun isn’t shining. Vertical green sunshades on the south facade move throughout the day to reduce glare and solar heat gain in the summer.

Cooling towers chill water at night and store it for use during the day. Concrete “Earth Tubes” run fresh air underground to the main lecture theatre to cool it in summer and warm it in winter. Low flow fixtures and use of captured rain water mixed with recycled process water for toilet flushing reduces potable water use by 64 per cent.

EEEL uses 78 per cent less energy compared to a conventional laboratory building. Photos by Tom ArbanEEEL uses 78 per cent less energy compared to a conventional laboratory building. Photos by Tom ArbanEEEL’s classrooms, high quality labs and student spaces encourage experiential learning for students at the Schulich School of Engineering, the Faculty of Science and the Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy.

“The great thing about this building is that everything is out in the open; it’s designed to help you learn,” says Jim Goodwin, principal at DIALOG, the Architect of Record for EEEL. “Classrooms, labs, even the mechanical and electrical features that run along the ceilings are labeled and displayed. EEEL is built and designed to provide that learning experience even just as you walk through, and that’s one of the most unique things about it.”

“We designed EEEL around the concept of ‘science on display’,” says Peter Busby, managing director of Perkins+Will, the Design Architect of the project. “We wanted to encourage curiosity and engage passersby, so we included fully glazed labs and classrooms and placed them around a grand ‘social stair’, which serves as the heart of the building.”

The University of Calgary strives to become a North American leader in high-performance green buildings and one of the most energy efficient campuses in North America. The building was designed by DIALOG and Perkins+Will. Project management was provided by DukeEvans Inc with construction management by Ellis Don.

View EEEL’s LEED scorecard here. EEEL has also received numerous architectural and engineering design awards. More information is available at: http://www.ucalgary.ca/eeel/

 

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