Nearly 3 years since construction began, SFU’s new Sustainable Energy & Environmental Engineering Building officially opened today. The opening was marked with a ceremony attended by BC’s premier John Horgan, MLA’s and other guests. The 5-storey, 220,000 sq.ft. building, designed by Vancouver’s late Bing Thom, has already become a new landmark redefining the Surrey Central area.
As just the first phase in a three-phase expansion plan for SFU in Surrey City Centre, the new building will accommodate 440 full-time students, and be home to SFU’s Mechatronics Systems Engineering (MSE) program with additional space for SFU’s Technology Entrepreneurship program.
In addition to the building itself, the development has contributed to a new high quality streetscape along University Drive with grade-separated bike lanes, benches, and a temporary corner park at 102 Avenue. The grassed corner will remain until 102A Avenue is eventually re-aligned through that space and the Surrey Central Bus Loop, as per the City Centre Plan.
Progress continues on the SFU Sustainable Energy & Environmental Engineering Building and Prime on the Plaza. As of July 5, work is progressing on the 17th floor of Prime on the Plaza and the 4th floor of SFU. Of notable interest is the large atrium taking shape within the new Bing Thom designed SFU building, which is already starting to have a dominating presence over University Dr. It is expected that both buildings will top out by the end of the year and be complete in 2018.
SFU’s first phase of expansion in Surrey continues to progress quickly at University Dr and 102 Ave. The building has now reached 2 levels in height north of its future atrium, while a double height first floor and lecture theatre are under construction on its southern portion. To the north behind it, Prime on the Plaza also continues to rise, now at a height of 10 storeys.
SFU’s Sustainable Energy & Environmental Engineering Building is the first of a planned 3 phase expansion of the campus on the parking lots surrounding Central City. A residence tower is also planned next to this current phase on the remaining portion of the site framed by the ‘L’ shape of the building, fronting 102 Ave. It is expected that the Sustainable Energy & Environmental Engineering Building will be completed as early as spring 2018, and open for classes by fall 2018.
Over the past weekend a 2nd tower crane was added at the SFU Surrey expansion project, bringing the total number of cranes in the immediate vicinity to 5, and the total number in City Centre to 8. While the building under construction will only be 5 storeys in height, its large footprint and accelerated construction schedule are both likely reasonings for the addition of a 2nd crane. It is also worth noting that the building will be higher than a typical 5 storey building, with a planned height of 35m (115′) according to a Surrey Planning Report. For comparison, this is closer in height to a 9 or 10 storey condominium building.
This newest crane adds to the growing number of cranes in Surrey’s rapidly changing skyline. The number of cranes currently up is unprecedented in the city’s history, and a visible sign that development within City Centre is now accelerating. Given the large number of development applications already underway for future towers, the sight of cranes across Surrey’s skyline will likely only continue to grow in the coming years.
The much anticipated government funding for the SFU Surrey expansion was finally announced today at a much-publicized event on the Surrey campus. At the event, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Christy Clark announced Federal and Provincial funding in the amount of $45 million each to the project. This funding will go towards the already underway first phase of a 3-phase expansion of the campus, with an additional $26 million from SFU and donors to fund future phases 2 and 3 on the remaining recreation centre surface parking lots.
While today’s announcement was news to many, UrbanSurrey first reported on the SFU expansion back in early June 2016 after a development application was submitted by SFU on the subject site at University Drive and 102 Avenue. Since then, today’s announcement has revealed that the new building is on track to open in Spring 2018, and that it will house the proposed Energy Systems and Environmental Engineering Program – an interdisciplinary engineering stream that will support the clean tech and sustainable energy sector.
New renderings were also released today, similar to those posted by UrbanSurrey back in July. The Bing Thom designed building will be a great addition to the City Centre as part of a rapidly changing University Drive.
The fast moving SFU Surrey expansion project, which began excavation just 2 months ago, has now installed its crane. The 5-storey, Bing Thom Architects designed Sustainable Energy and Environmental Engineering Building project is proceeding at a rampant pace to meet an April 2018 deadline for substantial completion. As of now, the north end of the site adjacent to the under construction Prime development is nearly completely dug, with just the south end remaining to be dug before construction can commence on the underground levels of the building.
Today’s installation adds to the growing number of cranes in Surrey City Centre, which now has a total of 7 cranes, with 1 more likely on the way within the next month. The presence of this many cranes represents the largest construction boom ever experienced in the City Centre, and a sign that momentum is picking up for development in the area. The next 5-10 years are likely to bring more transformation to the area than its seen in its entire history.