LEA Consulting Ltd. (LEA) is proud to share that they will be providing Structural Engineering Consulting services for Ryerson University’s Centre for Urban Innovation (CUI). The development will provide a 40,000 ft2 research facility space for faculty and students researching alternative urban energy, infrastructure, transportation and logistics, urban water, food and nutrition, and data analytics.

The project will preserve and integrate the original three storey historic heritage building with two new additions, each equipped with green roofs. The additions and the heritage building are joined with sky-lit open spaces. The majority of spaces within the building, including the original 19th century lecture hall, will be retained and will be adaptively reused to reduce the construction footprint.  This innovative design preserves the building’s rich history while transforming it into a modern state-of-the-art research facility.

North side rendering courtesy of Ryerson University.

The scope of LEA’s work on the building involves shoring, conceptual design, foundation, below grade and superstructure design; and retrofits and upgrades to the existing building.  The adaptive reuse of the historic building structure involves significantly less area than the new construction, but results in measurable savings in below grade walls, shoring, and above grade walls. The process saves an estimated 777,000kg of CO2, which is equivalent to 337,750 litres of gasoline consumed by private cars.

This project poses some inherent challenges. Seamless integration of the historic heritage building with the new modern addition is a conceptually risky endeavor – and retrofitting an existing unreinforced building to current seismic standards also proves quite challenging. LEA was able to address these challenges by providing an innovative system of steel plate reinforcement and select below grade works at various locations.

LEA is partnered with Moriyama and Teshima Architects on the project. Work began in December 2016, and is slated for completion in September 2018.

For more information, please visit Canadian Architect or Urban Toronto.