U of T Scarborough Campus' growth over the past few years has translated into the construction of several new buildings adding more classrooms, office spaces, labs, etc. While most of the campus is located south of Ellesmere Road, new additions are now spilling onto the north side near Military Trail, slowly replacing a sea of parking lots with modern edifices, highly contrasting with the original 1960s brutalist architectural style of the campus. Indeed, after the completion of the UTSC Instructional Centre in 2011, students will welcome another cutting-edge building by the summer of 2015, when the UTSC Environmental Science & Chemistry building will open its doors. 

UTSC Environmental Science & Chemistry, Diamond Schmitt Architects, EllisDonThe southern facade animated by the sunshade panels, picture by NT-2010

We have covered the fast-paced construction of this building in previous articles, impatiently waiting for the eye-catching curtain wall to be fully installed on the south facade. Up-to-date now with photos from January 9 by UrbanToronto Forum contributor NT-2010, the latest images show the progress made over the past few months, offering a great occasion to take stock of the 110,000 square foot, $65.1m construction, six months before its scheduled inauguration. 

UTSC Environmental Science & Chemistry, Diamond Schmitt Architects, EllisDonThe white sunshade panels animate the facade, looking different depending on the time of the day, picture by NT-2010

The Southern half of the building might be the most striking, elegantly undulating like water and changing according to the point of view of passerby thanks to a series of thin metal fins, offering style with cooling shadow during warm summer days. Running from the upper half of the second floor up to the fifth and last storey, the fins are actually covering a blue-tinted glass curtain-wall, unencumbered around the base of the building.

UTSC Environmental Science & Chemistry, Diamond Schmitt Architects, EllisDonThe charcoal-brick facade, punctuated by yellow metallic plat-bands, picture by NT-2010

The charcoal-toned brick now covering almost entirely the northern half of the structure creates an interesting contrast with the lighter toned fins and reflective glass walls. The large, rectangular window openings running along the facade at a constant pace are randomly punctuated by yellow metallic plat-bands, bringing some rhythm and warmth to this quite geometrical surface. The completed portions resemble the original rendering incredibly closely, as seen below. 

UTSC Environmental Science & Chemistry, Diamond Schmitt Architects, EllisDonThe UTSC Environmental Science & Chemistry, faithful to the original renderings, picture by NT-2010

UTSC Environmental Science & Chemistry, Diamond Schmitt Architects, EllisDonRendering of the UTSC Environmental Science & Chemistry, image courtesy Diamond Schmitt Architectsof

Designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects and constructed by EllisDon, the UTSC Environmental Science & Chemistry building is targeting LEED® Gold certification. To achieve it, features such as the use of the geothermal energy are being employed. The technology here starts with tubular shafts collecting air from the outside, then running it 2 metres underground in 20 to 35 metre-long tubes, before being injected into the mechanical system located in the basement of the structure, and then redistributed around the building through the HVAC system as preconditioned cool or warm air depending on the season and the needs of occupants. This system aims to take advantage of the soil's constant and warm temperature to heat up/cool down the air, depending on the season. As a science-oriented facility, a highly sanitized air is required to run through the building; ultraviolet lights placed inside the "earth-tubes" will thus ensure the quality of the incoming air.

UTSC Environmental Science & Chemistry, Diamond Schmitt Architects, EllisDonGeothermal "Earth Tubes" will provide sanitized air throughout the building, image courtesy of Diamond Schmitt Architects

Parts of this system will be visible, first in the park outside of the building where the shafts will suck up the air, then in the lobby where a glass floor will allow the occupants to see what's going on within one of the tubes, with LED lights illustrating the air flow. 

To see more renderings of the completed building, click our dataBase file link below. To see more construction photos, or to get in on the discussion, click on the Projects and Construction thread link, or add a comment in the space provided at the bottom of the page.