Living-Learning Community at B.C. College to Target LEED Gold

By SCN Staff

NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C. (CANADA)—Global integrated design firm Stantec was selected to provide architecture and engineering for new academic and student housing facilities at Douglas College, the largest degree-granting college in British Columbia, Canada. The college educates nearly 25,000 students per year and is transforming the New Westminster, B.C., campus into a “living-learning community.” The total cost of the project is $292.5 million, and the target occupancy date is Summer 2026.

Stantec’s Vancouver team, with support from the firm’s global education sector, is leading architecture, interior design, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, sustainability and building performance, acoustics, and Indigenous engagement services for the project. Graham Construction is the construction manager and structural engineering is being provided by RJC Engineering.

The new 200,000-square-foot academic building is fundamental to the college’s mission to provide an innovative curriculum designed to attract and retain world-class students, faculty, and staff. It will accommodate more than 2,400 students and 200 staff with over 30 classrooms, six computer labs, 80-seat lecture hall classroom, 60-seat event room, and specialized and open collaboration labs. In addition, it will house two faculty departments, student study spaces, along with a variety of breakout/meeting rooms, and lounge areas for collaboration. Dining services will be a component of the academic building and augment campus food services available at the legacy campus.

Sharing a structural podium, the new 130,000-square foot student housing component will encourage a sense of community and nurture social and academic interchange. It will feature 368 student beds in both private and traditional shared student housing layouts. Building management systems will provide smart controls for the HVAC, lighting, and energy systems that will optimize environmental performance and energy management. Efficient water use will be obtained through low flow fixtures.

“The new building is the culmination of years of consultation and collaboration to develop a unique building that reflects the kind of supportive community that students have come to expect from Douglas College,” said Dr. Kathy Denton, President of Douglas College. “This will be a welcoming and accessible space that inspires students to achieve their educational goals and become resilient global citizens.”

The new space will target net zero carbon, BC Energy Step Code 4, and LEED Gold certification requirements. Douglas College’s Environmental Sustainability Policy guides their efforts to actively identify and adopt best practices in environmental responsibility, sustainability, and energy efficiency.

“Our team is honored to help redefine the campus experience for students, faculty, and staff at Douglas College,” said Mark Travis, lead architect for the project and principal at Stantec. “Creating spaces rich in learning and community, these new buildings will support the college’s goals to foster a dynamic, accessible, and supportive teaching and learning environment that deeply values excellence and innovation.”