Client

University of Victoria

Location

Victoria, British Columbia

The University of Victoria’s (UVic’s) new student housing and dining project is a top priority in the university’s five-year capital plan. As a leading comprehensive research university, UVic is committed to delivering an outstanding student experience both inside and outside of the classroom to attract and retain Canadian and international students. With rental housing in short supply in the City of Victoria and surrounding region, ensuring availability of student residences and supporting programs is a critical piece of the university’s student recruitment and retention objectives.

UVic’s new housing and dining facilities will promote social connection and student engagement, complementing students’ academic experience while living on campus. The 345,620 sq. ft. project includes two multi-storey buildings that will provide a total of 783 new beds. The new student facilities will be built to LEED Gold and Passive House environmental standards to support university, as well as provincial, sustainability goals. The podium levels of Building One will house a new 58,523 sq. ft. dining facility with a full production kitchen capable of serving 10,000 meals per day. The facility will also include a catering area, a central commissary, a flexible servery area and seating for up to 600 students. Public areas in Building Two will feature a new 21,668 sq. ft. conference and banqueting facility, two tiered 225-seat lecture theatres and an Indigenous student lounge with indoor and outdoor programming spaces.

The Indigenous student lounge is designed to provide a cultural space for students to convene, supporting UVic’s initiative to promote a sense of community for all students on campus. Overall, the new housing and dining facilities will create a new central hub and connection for all students and members of the community who live, study or work on campus.

UVic engaged Colliers Project Leaders to deliver comprehensive project management services, including leading the integrated design process from inception through to project close out. A senior member of the Colliers Project Leaders’ management team is currently working on secondment as an extension of the university project team to lead the integrated design and construction process identified by UVic and ensure strong, ongoing stakeholder collaboration.

In addition to building to a LEED Gold sustainability standard, the university is also applying Passive House energy standards to meet a provincial mandate. This further project goal required changes to the initial design, as every aspect of the design needed to be reviewed through the lens of achieving Passive House’s stringent energy usage metrics. Our team worked alongside UVic to gather information and identify solutions to ensure the certification would be met. They also focused on mitigating delays and minimizing additional costs incurred by the extended design phase. Our team is currently overseeing the production and separation of early work packages to facilitate fast-tracking of project components under the construction management at risk (CCDC 5B) methodology.

In response to UVic’s request for innovative construction management techniques, the selected construction manager proposed a fast-tracking methodology and schedule that will enable the university to deliver its project 15 months sooner than originally planned. In addition, the construction manager proposed installing a 23,498 sq. ft. modular dining facility that will serve as a temporary residence dining hall until the new dining facility opens in September 2022. Our team led the university through the approval process to bring these innovative solutions to fruition in time for the 2020 academic year.

UVic held an on-campus groundbreaking ceremony on July 27, 2020. Building One is now officially under construction and on track for completion in September 2022. Building Two is expected to be completed in February 2023. Our team looks forward to supporting UVic through the construction phase as the buildings begin to take tangible form. The innovative and collaborative design elements incorporated into the project are sure to fulfill the university’s goals of enhanced campus community and quality of student life. Additionally, the work done to incorporate sustainable energy mandates will help pave the path for future projects seeking innovative ways to integrate function, design and sustainability.

Image courtesy of Perkins & Will.