Monday, June 19, 2006

  • Adding green to our colour scheme
  • Anniversary plans to be aired at meeting
  • Flora speaks
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

When and where

Hot and cold water will be shut off in the north and west quads of Ron Eydt Village today from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. to allow valves on water softeners to be repaired.

17th annual Matthews Golf Classic starts at noon sharp at Grand Valley Golf and Country Club. More information online.

Career workshops: “Work search strategies: Special session for international students,” 4:30 p.m., Tatham Centre 1208. Registration online.

Power, heating, cooling, and ventilation will be off throughout the Minota Hagey residence and Hagey Hall on Wednesday between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m. to allow work on high voltage switch gear.

'Adding green to our colour scheme’

by Barbara Elve -- an excerpt from the cover story in the spring issue of UW Magazine

Opening this spring on the north campus is the cornerstone of UW’s Research and Technology Park, the Accelerator Centre. With a mandate to “encourage the growth of high-tech firms and act as a catalyst for the creation of new products and services,” the centre is setting the bar for innovation with its eye–catching design, calculated to minimize the building’s impact on the environment.
Cover of UW Magazine spring 2006

Conceived by Laird Robertson of Robertson Simmons Architects Inc., the Accelerator Centre incorporates a number of “ideas of sustainability,” including a green roof. Among the largest roofs of its class in Canada, it ranks second in size only to the green roof on the new Canadian War Museum in Ottawa.

Described by Robertson as “a naturally sustainable island ecosystem,” the green roof supports a shallow, undulating terrain of engineered earth in which masses of a low-growing, water-storing species are framed by a perimeter planting of ornamental and native grasses. Not only does the green roof cool and filter the air and reduce runoff, it provides shielding from ultraviolet (UV) radiation, extending the lifespan of the underlying roof structure at least threefold.

North, south, east, west: each façade of the building is designed to maximize energy efficiency and reduce heat loss. “The long façades face north and south because one is able to control thermal heat gain and loss to a greater degree than with the eastern and western exposures,” explains Robertson. A sunshade installed along the outer wall of the south elevation will reduce the impact of the midday sun at the highest, most intense angle in the summer. In winter, the sun peeks in below the shade. Tinted glass on the west side keeps the interior cooler, and the north-facing wall has more insulation and smaller windows to prevent heat loss. A closed-loop, in-floor radiant hot water system employs a high-efficiency gas-fired boiler. The four mechanical units on the roof are engineered to respond to the individual cooling needs of the north and south areas of the building, as well as to each of the three storeys.

Hedgerows of trees and shrubs along the north and west property lines will provide a windbreak, and trees have also been planted around the parking lot to shade the asphalt and minimize the heat island effect. A series of swales will catch parking lot run-off and filter the water using a selection of grasses and cattails.

“Within the confines of market-driven lease rates, we have achieved the highest sustainability possible,” says Robertson. “The tenants will save money on energy costs; the developers (Cora Group Inc.) see the green roof as the right thing to do -- and as a marketing advantage. The building has an identity and a reputation as ‘the building to be in’ right now.”

The lesson for Robertson: “Do something unique and progressive, and the tenants will come.” He is designing the new School of Accountancy building on the main campus using sustainability principles — also with a green roof. “We do it because we believe in it,” he says of his firm.

Another green roof is planned for the Quantum-Nano Centre, a 250,000-square-foot building still in the conceptual design phase. Slated for a site just north of Biology II, the centre will be shared by the nanotechnology engineering program and the Institute for Quantum Computing.

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50th Anniversary plans to be aired at meeting

by Kelly Millar

The University of Waterloo’s leaders will get a glimpse of the future this week. Plans for UW’s 50th Anniversary celebration will be unveiled at a special meeting of the senior leadership tomorrow.

“This is a time to congratulate ourselves and let our community, province and nation know how proud we are to have achieved so much in such a short period of time,” UW President David Johnston said in a recent memo to vice-presidents, associate provosts, deans, chairs, directors, executive assistants, and others in top management. “It is also a time to look ahead and plan for what is sure to be a very bright future for the University of Waterloo.”

The general theme of the anniversary is to be “The spirit of Why not,” a theme used for a series of advertisements about UW in the Record last year.

The 50th Anniversary Planning Kick-Off marks the first in a long run of events scheduled. It will be held at noon in the Theatre of the Arts in the Modern Languages Building.

Planning for the 50th anniversary has been ongoing since 1999 (right after the 40th celebrations wound up), when university members had a preliminary meeting.

More on the 50th anniversary plans and the new logo will appear in future issues of the Daily Bulletin.


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Flora speaks at convocation

Hon. Flora MacDonald addresses UW's convocation June 15, 2006

Former Conservative cabinet minister and advocate for international development, Flora MacDonald, spoke to graduands at the arts faculty convocation on Thursday morning. "She has been widely recognized for her superb and forward-looking leadership," said Bob Kerton, outgoing dean of arts, who, in commenting on her accomplishments, noted Ms MacDonald also served as the Walter Bean visiting professor in UW's Faculty of Environmental Studies, 2003-04. In her address, Ms MacDonald, who turned 80 earlier in the month, spoke of her two recent visits to Afghanistan. She told the story of a young Canadian of Afghani background who returned to help his former compatriots and who has worked with others to rebuild schools in destroyed villages. "It takes courage to seize the opportunities when they come along; adaptability, to embrace and learn; stamina; and curiosity. With these, you are well-equipped to carry out your goals anywhere in the world."


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Campus notes

Graphics’ new bike courier service starts tomorrow. Faculty and staff may call extension 5997 to have jobs picked up, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday to Friday, for speedy delivery to any of the four copy centre locations on campus (Pixel Planet in Math & Computer, Carbon Copy in EIT, Express Copy in Dana Porter, or Davis Copy in the Davis Centre). “This service is a complement to the internal mail run by Central Stores, and should be used in instances where the job needs to get to the Copy Centre within that day,” says the notice from Graphics director Sean Van Koughnett.

Anyone living or working in the Minota Hagey residence or Hagey Hall should be careful to shut down computer equipment Tuesday night, in anticipation of a power shut-off throughout those buildings on Wednesday morning, 6:30 to 7:30, for work on high-voltage switch gear. Call the Computing Help and Information Place, ext. 4357, if help is needed in closing down computers.

A team of mechanical engineering students from Waterloo led by grad student Steve Samborsky has placed first in the Honda Canada HQP Poster Competition and won a prize of $4,500. The national competition took place at the AUTO21 Network of Centres of Excellence Scientific Conference held in Vancouver last week. The winning UW team is investigating new design methods to advance regenerative braking systems. (The "regenerative" aspect refers to what happens when you apply the brakes in a hybrid-electric vehicle: the motor generates not heat, but electricity, which is stored in a battery.) Samborsky is a student of mechanical engineering professor Stephan Lambert. The winning team was chosen from four finalists that advanced from a pool of 71 teams evaluated in May. A team from Windsor and two teams from Queen’s placed second, third, and fourth.

Tomorrow, members of the UW Retirees Association visit Durham Region. Stops on the bus tour include Parkwood, the sumptuous estate of Colonel R. S. McLaughlin, Canadian philanthropist and the founder of General Motors; the Oshawa Valley Botanical Gardens and its spectacular Gilbert Peony Collection; and Archibald Orchards and Estate Winery, a fourth-generation family farm in Bowmanville, for a tour and samples of cheese and dessert with four wines. More information about this and other UWRA social events is here.

Philip H. Smith, a retired professor in the Faculty of Arts, died June 11, 2006, survived by his wife, Elisabeth. A linguist by training, he joined UW in July 1969 and directed the Arts Computing Office for many years. He retired on September 1, 1989.

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