University of Alberta Innovation Centre for Engineering
Edmonton, Alberta

The University of Alberta Innovation Centre for Engineering is better known as the U of A ICE building.  The building is a new infill structure located between the Chemical Materials Engineering Building and the Maier Learning Centre.  The close proximity of the adjacent buildings created multiple design and construction challenges.

The exterior finish of this building is a creative marriage of glass, metal and precast concrete.  The striking feature of this building is the “fly-by” building cladding system on the corners of the structure.  The transparency of the glass and the minimal impact of the supporting structure make this feature unique.  Ductal Ultra-High Performance Precast Concrete was the key element that made the architectural features of this building possible.  Ductal’s high strength provided the capacity to carry the gravity, wind and seismic loads while maintaining an unobtrusive shallow thickness.

The surface finish was a custom texture developed with the architect’s input to generate the appropriate level of shadows while maintaining a surface that would naturally shed dust and grime.

The end result was a striking introduction of horizontal features that reduce the verticality of the building, combined with unique corner features that have never been accomplished before.

Five hundred and ninety solid Ductal precast elements of multiple heights and lengths with thickness varying from 17 to 35 millimeters were used to create the building architectural effect.  Mountings were designed to allow connection into the vertical mullions within the glass curtain wall system. Installation was completed from the exterior of the building once the curtain wall was in place.  The fly-by corners used the precast as the structural element to carry gravity, wind and seismic loads and distribute these loads over multiple mullions within the curtain wall system.  

The fly-by corner concept was validated by full-scale load and pressure testing conducted by Miami based Construction Research Laboratory Inc.  Lafarge conducted load tests to validate the flexural strength of the Ductal panels as well as pull out capacity for the connection inserts. 

Owner:
University of Alberta
Architect:
Dialog
Engineer:
Dialog
Contractor:
EllisDon
Precast Supplier:
Lafarge Precast, A Member of LafargeHolcim
© CPCI 2013. All rights reserved.