After dark, the rotunda is a luminous beacon
and campus gateway.
The University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM), located on a stunning 225-acre, park-like campus, boasts a new gateway building: the UTM Innovation Complex.
An incubator for industry partnerships and a multifunctional hub of academic, administrative, and social activity, the Innovation Complex features lecture-hall-style classrooms, computer laboratories, offices, and exciting gathering spaces. This 70,000-square-foot expansion of the former Kaneff Centre is the dynamic new home to the Office of the Registrar, Departments of Economics and Management, as well as of the groundbreaking Institute for Management and Innovation.
To address rapidly expanding student enrolment and facility needs, UTM structured the Innovation Complex project under a design-build (DB) contract delivery method.
The rotunda is connected to the new and existing buildings, acting as an engaging gathering place and a key venue for receptions and conferences.
Completed under budget in 18 months, two days before its scheduled contract delivery deadline, this $30 million project was managed by PCL, as the design-builder and general contractor, in partnership with Moriyama & Teshima Architects, a top-tier architectural firm.
To drive an intense fasttrack process, PCL assembled the right team, embracing an integrated and collaborative partnering process to maximize value, reduce costs, enhance safety, and meet the aggressive schedule with minimal impact on university operations and student life.
DECISION MAKING KEY
“To ensure we continually placed our client’s vision at the forefront of this vital project, we partnered with all parties in an enhanced method of collaboration,” said PCL project manager Cory Raymond.
“The process of effectively fasttracking this project required that key decisions be executed seamlessly from start-up to closeout. To carry this out, three teams were created to work in parallel, enabling us to simultaneously advance design, site plan approval, and contract documents, all while progressing construction on-site,” adds Raymond.
Advancing critical approvals in a fasttrack, design-build project requires commitment to strong decision making by all parties.
“In this type of project, time is not a luxury afforded. Decisions need to be made on the fly, whether that be resequencing a schedule due to unforeseen site issues, or having key decision makers sign off on changes made directly during user-group development sessions,” says Raymond.
Working with an experienced design-builder such as PCL adds significant value for the client. With all risk transferred to the design-builder, UTM was afforded cost and schedule certainty, along with a team of experts dedicated to creating a successful outcome.
“With a good understanding of both the client’s vision and material costs, we were able to add further value by putting dollars in the right place; for example, by choosing products that were more rigid but equally effective aesthetically for high-traffic areas,” says Raymond.
This enabled the design-build team to focus on the rotunda, a light-filled, open, and airy atrium that was carved from within the footprint of the existing building exterior. Enveloped in warm-toned travertine and white oak, the rotunda is connected to the new and existing buildings, acting as an engaging gathering place for faculty, students, and industry partners, and a key venue for receptions and conferences.
With an emphasis on sustainability, the building was designed to achieve LEED® Silver certification. A green roof—not originally included in the project specifications—was part of the design solution and another example of how PCL delivered further value to UTM.
In fulfilling UTM’s vision for the building, PCL delivered a quality product on time and on budget, including several value-adds, an impressive safety record, and with minimal disruption to university activities, making it a case study for design-build success.