The new 250,000-square-foot Faculty of Social Sciences building at the University of Ottawa, designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects and KWC Architects, has earned three design awards. The facility received an Institutional Building Award at the Ontario Concrete Awards, an Interior Wood Design Award from Ontario Wood WORKS!, and an Interior Green Wall Award of Excellence at CitiesAlive, the Green Roofs for Healthy Cities conference.
The LEED Gold certified, 15-storey tower features a concrete structure with a theatre capable of seating up to 225 people. It also includes a double-height, multi-use hall and a green roof. Throughout the facility, wood products were used in the construction of high traffic areas, helping the building earn the interior design award from Ontario Wood WORKS! North America’s largest vertically planted living wall bio-filter purifies the facility’s return air. This energy-saving system was developed by Diamond Schmitt Architects and NEDLAW Living Walls ten years ago.
“The living wall is central to the experience of being in the public space of this large 250,000-square-foot building – it positively affects the light, sound, texture, air and colour of the space,” says Sarah Low, Diamond Schmitt Architects Associate. “It is key to making it a place where the university students and faculty want to spend time.”
The Faculty of Social Sciences includes nine departments, schools and institutes that offer programs for approximately 10,000 students.