The new five-storey Sustainable Energy Engineering (SEE) Building represents Simon Fraser University’s first major step in expanding beyond its Central City campus to become an integrated academic precinct within Surrey’s evolving City Centre neighbourhood. This LEED Gold certified academic research facility houses Western Canada’s first accredited undergraduate energy engineering program offering an integrated, multi-disciplinary approach to energy engineering education to support the clean tech, renewable and sustainable energy sector.
The building program – organized around a spectacular, light-filled central atrium whose stepped seating tiers are punctuated with natural Ficus King Amstel trees – comprises wet and dry labs; collaboration and study spaces; offices; recreational rooms; lounges spaces, student services. A 400-seat lecture hall strategically situated on the ground floor serves SFU’s Surrey campus and the broader community.
The project’s fast-tracked delivery necessitated significant overlap in design, permitting, and construction phases, and prompted the decision to utilize prefabricated precast elements for the façade, enabling the building to be closed in quickly and minimizing construction debris and noise impact on site. Composed primarily of framed, high-performance, undulating precast concrete sandwich panels and reflective glazing, the facade’s geometric design derives from abstracted circuit board imagery to symbolize the technological subject matter taught within the building.
Surrey City Centre’s new multi-award-winning landmark successfully bridges cleantech and renewable energy education with an active, engaging, and sustainable community environment.