Waterloo, ON

University of Waterloo B1 B2 Laboratory


The University of Waterloo identified the need to upgrade laboratories for its biology research, located on the first and third floors of its Earth Sciences Chemistry Building. The current labs were cramped and outdated, coupled with systems at the end of their lifespan. Seizing the chance to modernize its labs, the University saw the opportunity to also improve its energy footprint in line with the campus’ sustainability targets.


The renovated layout positions labs around the perimeter of the building, separated from circulation routes to maximize openness within the lab areas. Windows, glazing walls, and punch windows were used strategically to bring natural light deep into the interior communal areas, while maintaining privacy. This transparency serves the dual purpose of encouraging cross-discipline interactions. The systems were upgraded with the addition of an air handling unit to accommodate supply for an environment with a 75/25 lab to office ratio and included the innovative use of highly efficient chilled beams. Solutions improved temperature and humidity control and reduced construction impact to the building.


The building envelope was upgraded with close cell spray insulation, which increased the R-value and improved overall building performance and combined with new high efficiency, LED lighting and low-flow, water saving fixtures. Part of a larger sustainability master plan, the systems overhaul for the entire complex has been phased over time.


Architecture, Interior Design, Laboratory Design, Mechanical Engineering


Education, Science & Research

Team Leaders

Drew Hauser
Liam Brown
Mary Georgious
Michelle Austin

Partners & sub consultants

Stantec — Electrical
Blackwell — Structural
Hanscomb — Cost Consultant


5,090 SQ. FT.