SFU's newest building will open in Surrey in 2019.


SFU building’s eye-catching façade draws accolades even before completion

September 06, 2018

It won’t be open until next year, but a new building designed by Revery Architecture Inc. and being constructed by Bird Construction to expand SFU’s presence in Surrey is already drawing industry praise.

Revery is being honored with the Canadian Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute’s 2018 CPCI Roy Willwerth Architectural Recognition award. The award goes to an architectural firm that has helped advance the Canadian precast prestressed concrete industry through its outstanding skills and creativity.

CPCI lauds Revery for its “original use of precast concrete in addressing a diversity of challenges.” Revery will receive the award at the CPCI Partners Awards of Excellence reception in October.

In addition to transforming Surrey’s downtown core with its design of several landmark spaces, Revery is cited for its striking façade design on the SFU building, which will house the new Sustainable Energy Engineering program, the first of its kind in Western Canada, set to start in Fall 2019. 

Revery’s distinctive façade design is composed of alternating strips of energy efficient, undulating framed precast concrete panels and reflective glass—together they are meant to represent the ‘circuit board’ imagery relating to the technological subject matter that will be taught within the building.

The panels, more than 300 of them, were supplied by Surespan Structures from Duncan B.C. Their brilliance can be attributed to the use of Mexican white cement and white sand from Ontario. Pre-fabricating the precast panels off-site helped to ease and speed up their installation to help meet funding deadlines, while also minimizing any debris or noise impact on site. 

“We congratulate the Revery team for being recognized for its design excellence on the new SFU building,” says Ian Abercrombie, SFU’s director of Campus Planning and Development. “The distinct appearance is certainly attracting attention. We are looking forward to its opening in the new year.”

The five-storey complex is located on University Drive adjacent to the current campus and across from the City Centre Library. The $116-million cost is being covered by the federal and provincial governments ($45 million each) and SFU. The building was announced in late fall 2016 and is on target to open in the new year.

The 16,000-square meter LEED Gold-targeted/registered concrete structure will be home to 320 undergraduates and 120 graduate students as well as teaching and support staff. Meanwhile future planning for SFU in Surrey includes developing new programs in health systems and creative technologies.