Fast-tracked construction helped with the early occupancy of 1,000 students into the University of Calgary's Energy Environment Experiential Learning (EEEL) Building. The structural concept gives flexibility for future use and supports the themes of experiential learning, science on display and sustainable design.
The clear-span concrete beam-and-slab structure, the Architect’s repetitive 3.2m planning module, and the 6.4m x 12.8m structural module will accommodate future flexibility to change uses between laboratories, classrooms, support space and social spaces. This will allow the building’s life cycle to extend with minimal initial cost premium. In addition, the structural design loads exceed code minimums, further enhancing the flexibility for future use.
Sustainable design, including natural lighting, also influenced the structural design in the form of light wells at the exterior, the clerestory roof and the substantial atrium space; all of which were accommodated within the repetitive clear-span structural module.
“Experiential Learning” as suggested by the building’s name, and the theme of “science on display” also influenced the structural design. The “social stair” within the central hall will facilitate interaction and provide a venue for scientific displays.