Oldest, youngest campus buildings earn top honours

Both the newly constructed Amit Chakma Engineering Building, above, and historic University College, below, received top honours from the Don Smith Commercial Building Awards.

Both the newly constructed Amit Chakma Engineering Building and historic University College received top honours from the Don Smith Commercial Building Awards.

“These honours speak to the versatility of our facilities,” said Elizabeth Krische, Associate Vice-President (Facilities Management). “We had the distinct honour of being recognized for building excellence for both our newest and oldest campus buildings.”

The most recent building to dot the Western landscape, the 100,000-square-foot Amit Chakma Engineering Building received the award for Institutional Building Achievement. It was cited for enhancing the Western Road as a campus gateway. The interior centres around a three-storey atrium which acts as the heart of the building, optimizing the opportunity for ‘creative collisions’ between students, faculty and staff.

Home to the Faculty of Engineering, the Chakma Building is the university’s first LEED Platinum-certified building.

This is the third prestigious award given to the building, as it recently received the provincial and national Green Building Excellence Award for New Construction from the Canada Green Building Council.

The Institutional Building Achievement award was received Mike McLean, Director (Facilities Planning & Design), and is shared the with general contractor Norlon Builders and architects Perkins & Will in association with Cornerstone Architecture Inc. The Western Interdisciplinary Research Building was also nominated in this category.

On the other end of the spectrum, Western’s oldest structure on campus was also recognized following a recent modernization project.

Renewing University College, the symbolic centre of Western, relied on the highest level of restoration and transformation. First envisioned by the university as the iconic representation of academic pride, the 1920’s building has been revitalized and is once again a vibrant focus for the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. The recent renovation of the 98-year-old building has successfully struck the delicate balance between the preservation of heritage and the incorporation of building innovation.

The award was received by Fred Janzen, Facilities Management Project Manager, and is shared with general contractor Tonda Construction Ltd and architects Tillman Ruth Robinson Inc.

The Don Smith Commercial Building Awards are presented by the London St. Thomas Association of Realtors.