Ontario Construction News staff writer
Construction has started on a $16 million, 25,000 sq. ft. engineering design centre at Carleton University.
The facility will connect to Carleton’s existing Mackenzie Building on Library Road and provide dedicated space for undergraduate students as they collaborate on fourth-year Capstone design projects.
The three-storey design is a joint venture by Diamond Schmitt Architects and KWC Architects and will feature a maker space, design studios, workshop bays, central atrium and meeting and lounge spaces.
“The best learning environments inherently combine both theory and practice,” FED Dean Larry Kostiuk said in a statement. “By investing in this newly-established space for hands-on education, we look to expand Carleton’s longstanding commitment to experiential learning.”
Alumni and partners can help enhance the long-term vision for the building by developing new collaborative opportunities and adding leading technology so that students and community can work together on shared challenges.
While engineering and design students at Carleton engage in hands-on projects throughout their programs, fourth-year students are required to work in teams to produce a design innovation that incorporates everything they have learned.
Often considered the hallmark of an undergraduate engineering degree—fourth-year Capstone design projects provide a platform to integrate their knowledge with practical skills to develop a professional-level project. They also help foster an entrepreneurial spirit and passion for real-world problem solving.
The building’s interior will be open and inviting, with easily reconfigurable furniture and both formal and informal meeting space that encourages students to connect with one another, discuss projects and exchange ideas. Design rooms, which will serve classroom-like functions, will be outfitted with presentation technology, allowing for everything from small group discussions to formal meetings and presentations.
The Engineering Design Centre will also serve as an example of Carleton’s continued leadership in accessibility and sustainability. The entire building has been designed to be inclusive and accessible throughout, including barrier-free clearances for all workshop bays that meet or exceed the Ontario Building Code.
It will incorporate energy-efficient building systems and strategies for electricity conservation and sustainability. The building itself will be instrumented and have the controls needed for graduate-level research to explore and test conservation and sustainability ideas.