If you were in engineering school anytime before about 2005, you probably studied in one of the oldest and darkest buildings on campus. Around 2005, a lot of schools jumpstarted their engineering programs with fancy, high-tech buildings full of daylight and top of the line everything. Case in point: University of Waterloo's Engineering 5 Building Waterloo's Engineering 5 Building designed by Perkins + Will, which is just the first phase of a major expansion to the Faculty of Engineering. With a fritted glass pattern on the exterior, LED lighting and a two story Student Design Centre, conceived as a “daylight factory”, the sustainable strategies are worth getting jealous over.
The six story building consolidates a number of departments that were previously spread out in other buildings and includes four stories of departmental labs, classrooms and offices above the two story daylit Student Design Centre (SDC). The SDC has instructional and design space on the second story, which overlooks a long row of high concrete framed work bays and shops for fabrication and exhibition space.
A geometric Tron-inspired staircase lit with LED lights is the highlight of the central atrium and the building is clad in a fritted glazing with an array of graduated dots patterned to create the illusion of a series of protruding pyramids. Engineering 5 features a number of informal meeting areas, as well as a green rooftop terrace and a 2-story hanging garden that dominates the west facade and signifies the building entry. While LEED certification was not sought for this engineering building, it does feature plenty of sustainable features to make it worthy.