Lazaridis Hall Building: Innovation on Campus

By: Adriana Rezai-Stevens

The Lazaridis Hall building at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, is brand new and full of innovative technologies making it LEED® Gold certified. This building is beautifully designed and fosters a creative learning environment for students in the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics.

Many environmental features have given this building LEED® certification, one of which being the rare and progressive cooling and heating technology. A chilled beam system, a type of convection HVAC system for larger buildings will turn off the heating and cooling system when no one is in the area so that air may be recycled and not wastes when there is no one around. These beams are suspended from the ceiling and contain water pipes, when the pipes pass cold water through, the beams will cool the air around it, allowing it to become dense and fall to the ground. As the cool air falls, warmer air rises and cools the room. This is not only a cost efficient way of cooling and heating an entire building, but is energy efficient as well.

A complete Grey Water Recycling System involves collecting lightly used water from sinks, showers, fountains and washing machines to flush toilets or irrigate surrounding landscape. An underground cistern is used in the Lazaridis Hall building to collect rainwater instead, being a larger commercial building – however the idea is similar. This helps conserve precious water and can relieve nearby wastewater treatment plants.

LED lights are used throughout the building, and light sensors are in place in order to turn the lights on or off depending on whether or not someone is in the room. This combination saves on electricity (especially in large buildings where many areas are not always occupied), and reduces the amount of light pollution.

The Lazaridis Hall building is a great example of how we can use multiple energy saving technologies to create an all around energy efficient commercial building. With University symbolizing innovation, technological advancement, and creativity – there is no reason why others shouldn’t follow suit and get their campus buildings LEED® certified.