Completed in 2013, the Centre for Engineering Innovation (CEI) is designed to usher in a new era of engineering education and inspire students to shape the future of sustainable design.
The 310,000-square-foot facility’s flexible classrooms and specialized research labs work in tandem with deliberately exposed building systems to highlight practical outcomes of engineering theory. The building incorporates numerous high-performance design features, including a Bio-filter living wall. The facility is oriented to maximize solar exposure and stacked to reduce its skin-to-volume ratio, while the CEI’s heat storage and air delivery system is designed to exploit the free heat given off by the sun, occupants, and equipment.
Designed to be a ‘Live Building’ that students can learn from, the facility uses a wide range of sensors and monitors to acquire data from almost every aspect of the building, which can be monitored in real time via a web interface. For example, temperature sensors monitor the heat lost through the building’s roofing layers. By inviting students to engage with this data, the CEI helps them to better appreciate the impact of their work.
The CEI also reflects the Conceive-Design-Implement-Operate pedagogical approach first developed in part by MIT. In response to an industry perception that graduates would benefit from improved teamwork and ethical skills, focus was placed on providing flexible spaces that promote collaborative, cross-disciplinary activities. The CEI’s classrooms feature uniquely designed platforms and custom-fabricated tables that can be easily reconfigured to facilitate break-out sessions and in-situ tutorial groups. Informal areas like lounges, student-scheduled activity rooms, and a green roof terrace offer students many places to meet and talk.
Developed in conjunction with business and community leaders, the CEI has emerged as a new convergence place for those in Windsor and the surrounding region. The facility’s Industrial Courtyard is a flexible, highly-serviced lab space, designed to facilitate interdisciplinary research, spark new relationships, and encourage true technological innovation.
Awards: Ontario Concrete Awards Institutional Building Award