Backgrounder: Engineering and computer science expansion supports students and climate solutions


Aerial view
Aerial view rendering of the UVic Engineering and Computer Science buildings. Credit: Dialog Design.

Some of the features of the Engineering and Computer Science Building expansion will include:

  • multidisciplinary instructional and research labs with highly specialized equipment and infrastructure, first-year design studios, computer labs and faculty and graduate student office space;
  • a six-storey, 6,288 square-metre structure targeting LEED Gold V4 certification and built with mass timber construction;
  • high-performance building envelopes to increase energy performance;
  • electric heat pump HVAC systems operating on BC’s low-carbon electricity grid;
  • green roofs, rain gardens and bioswales to slow and filter water; and
  • photovoltaics canopy at roof patio for renewable energy.

Some of the features of the new High Bay Research and Structures Lab include:

  • a 12-metre-high ceiling to accommodate research into full-scale prototypes, such as mass timber structures, steel trusses, reinforced concrete frames, modular composite building panels and precast concrete slabs;
  • two 10-tonne gantry cranes on a shared set of rails that will run the length of the lab and will primarily be used for moving full-size structures, reaction frame components and testing machines;
  • a 10-metre tall “strong wall” (reaction wall) and strong floor to test structural elements in civil engineering;
  • provision for a large shake table for seismic research to test impact of vibration on various structures; and
  • large-scale experiments related to geotechnical, materials and building science
  • research, in addition to research focused on structural testing.
ECSE exterior
Rendering of the Engineering and Computer Science expansion looking north from Ring Road. Credit: Dialog Design.

The new Engineering and Computer Science expansion will:

  • advance developments in built environments that focus on climate and seismic resilience;
  • provide the infrastructure to test, pilot and demonstrate new designs, products and processes across a wide range of building systems;
  • cultivate international leaders in the emerging green economy; and
  • act as a hub for the regional construction industry and as a major node in a network of building research and development centres across Canada.

The BC Government is directly investing $1.7 billion in planned capital expenses in the post-secondary sector to 2023-2024.

A 2018 budget announcement invested $42 million for 2,900 additional tech program seats by 2022-23 across the public post-secondary system.

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Keywords: sustainability, engineering

People: Mina Hoorfar, Kevin Hall

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