Designing the first new university campus in Ontario in thirty-five years presented the rare opportunity to create an innovative and sustainable academic community on a large and integrated scale.
The heart of the campus is a landscaped commons surrounded by five academic buildings and the University Library. While each building establishes separate identity and access from the perimeter ring road, a connected collegial pedestrian precinct is established around the green campus commons.
Located beneath the commons is a Borehole Thermal Energy Storage System (BTESS) that harvests energy stored in the earth for heating in the winter and cooling in the summer. The system comprises 392 closed-loop boreholes that extend 190 meters below the surface of the commons and provide 2,000 tons of energy-efficient sustainable heating and cooling. A comprehensive water management strategy, including rainwater collection and a retention pond, was employed to protect an adjacent watershed.