Amit Chakma Engineering Building achieves LEED Platinum status


Western Engineering News | April 3, 2020

Effective March 26, 2020, Western’s Amit Chakma Engineering Building (ACEB) officially received LEED Platinum certification, making it only the third academic building in Canada to achieve that level.

The building brings to life a vision set by Andrew Hrymak, former Engineering Dean and now Provost and Vice-President Academic.

“I am incredibly proud of this achievement and of all those involved in the process,” said Hrymak. “Attaining LEED Platinum status was an objective from the outset and encouraged by Advisory Council members, donors and the Faculty. It’s remarkable to see the years of work and collaboration within our community come to fruition.”

Hrymak stressed the invaluable work done by Western Engineering staff, faculty and students at every stage of ACEB’s design. Special mentions were given to former Associate Dean, Undergraduate Studies and recently retired Civil Engineering professor Mike Bartlett and Director of Administration Christina Bobier, who helped Hrymak spearhead the project from start to finish; and to the Undergraduate Engineering Society, who were fundamental in gathering student feedback concerning the building’s functional design.

Of the 2,600 LEED-certified buildings in Canada, less than 5% are recognized as LEED Platinum. The LEED Canada rating system takes several factors into consideration, including sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, innovation in design, and indoor environmental quality.

ACEB is 55% more energy efficient than the Canadian building code standard, with features that include a rainwater collection/harvesting system, electric vehicle charging ports, and a renewable solar energy system. Its 127-kilowatt rooftop solar array is expected to offset more than 5% of the building’s total annual energy use.

A preference for using local materials reduces Western Engineering’s carbon footprint and also highlights the beauty of these materials for students, faculty, staff and visitors alike. ACEB features locally sourced Canadian maple, limestone quarried from Wiarton, Ontario, and regional steel to hold up the two-story cantilevered section of the building.

Prior to officially achieving LEED Platinum status, the building has received multiple awards including a provincial and national Green Building Excellence Award for New Construction from the Canada Green Building Council, as well as top honours from the Don Smith Commercial Building Awards.

“I continue to be impressed by our Western Engineering community,” said Dean Ken Coley, who started his term with the Faculty in July 2019. “Receiving LEED Platinum status is truly an honour, and I congratulate every one who played a role in this achievement. Thank you to our donors, business partners, alumni, faculty, staff and students for your dedication to making this exceptional building what it is today.”

Western Engineering would like to extend our thanks and congratulations to architectural consultants Perkins + Will and Cornerstone Architecture for their outstanding contributions to the design and creation of ACEB.