First step to SFU Surrey’s expansion now complete
By Roshni Riar, Staff Writer
On April 25, Simon Fraser University (SFU) unveiled their newly constructed Surrey campus expansion—the SFU Sustainable Energy Engineering building.
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold-certified building is the first significant step towards SFU Surrey’s overall three-step expansion.
Renowned architect the late Bing Thom designed the building before his passing in 2016. Revery Architecture completed and constructed the project on his behalf.
The building spans 20,458 square metres over five storeys and will act as a living lab due to its sustainable construction. It comprises classrooms, offices, study spaces, wet and dry teaching labs, a 400-seat lecture hall, and a large atrium space for people to gather. The interior design features natural wood finish panels and walls, sleek furniture, and a number of plants and trees.
The Sustainable Energy Engineering building will be home to SFU’s new Sustainable Energy Engineering program, which will be offered starting this September.
The program will allow up to 440 full-time students—320 undergraduates, 120 graduates—to study sustainable energy engineering while integrating environmental science and business courses into their curriculum.
The program’s aim is for students to be well rounded and prepared to work in clean technology departments such as clean city planning, renewable energy, and clean power generation.
The Bachelor of Applied Science undergraduate program—the first of its kind in Western Canada—will allow students to have paid cooperative work experience and involvement in capstone projects.
The space will also house 40 faculty members, as well as provide a home to SFU’s 75 mechatronics graduate students.
$45 million of the overall $126-million budget was supplied by the Government of Canada’s Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund. Another $45 million was brought in by the BC Government. The remainder of the budget was provided by SFU and numerous donors.
The BC government plans to further invest into tech program expansion, with hopes to add almost 3,000 additional spots in post-secondary programs across the province.
Simran Brar, an SFU English student, shared her thoughts on the expansion.
“I think this is an important look at [where] the future of engineering can go. Hopefully the example that SFU is setting will influence other [post-secondary education] institutions [and show] that fostering sustainability in a learning environment can be achievable.”
When discussing the new engineering program coming this fall, Brar added, “Considering the province’s recent focus on sustainability and the environment [with CleanBC], it’s a great time to offer [the Sustainable Energy Engineering] program because it will prepare students for specific jobs that will hopefully be available and need filling when they graduate.”