• Edmonton, AB
  • University of Alberta
  • 7,897 sq m
  • 85,000 sq ft
  • LEED® Gold certified
  • MCW 
  • EllisDon
  • PCL Construction Management Inc. 
DIALOG Services
  • Architecture
  • Interior Design
  • Structural Engineering
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Donadeo Innovation Centre for Engineering transforms a 16m-wide sliver of land between two existing structures into a striking feature on the University of Alberta’s skyline. The 14-storey building amalgamates approximately 85,000 sq ft of engineering faculty office space that was previously spread throughout campus, allowing more space for research and classrooms across the Faculty of Engineering.

UofA Donadeo ICE Site Plan DIALOG

Design Story 01

The Donadeo Innovation Centre for Engineering provides approximately 85,000 sq ft of interdisciplinary office space accommodating over 1,700 professors, graduate students, administration, and support staff for the Faculty of Engineering. Its innovative placement on campus—essentially infilling a loading dock—made it challenging to design.

UofA Donadeo ICE section DIALOG

Design Story 02

Research space is essential to a university’s success, but is among the most costly spaces to construct. The Donadeo ICE project is unique because of its cost effective design that opens up space for research activities and offers a purpose-built office space for administration. The Faculty of Engineering converted areas that had been used as offices in existing engineering buildings into research and teaching facilities, allowing the faculty to increase the number of students it can enroll.

UofA Donadeo ICE Site Challenges DIALOG

Design Story 03

The narrow site presented significant challenges. Pilings could not be drilled at the building’s perimeter as would normally be done, so piles were inset and a transfer beam redirected the load. A host of existing utilities also had to be avoided. A deep sewer traverses the northwest corner of the site about 17m below grade. To avoid the risk of crushing the sewer, deep piles were founded at an elevation below the sewer. One pile needed to be moved off grid and a 2400mm x 3650mm deep cantilevered pile cap was used to transfer the load from to the pile.

donadeo ice ualberta design structure

Design Story 04

With such a narrow site, the design team sought to add as much square footage as possible. Starting at the pile caps and extending throughout the structure, the building cantilevers up to 6.4m on the east side and up to 4.5m on the north side, maximizing the size of each floor plate. Such long floor cantilevers would not have been economical with any material other than steel.

UofA Donadeo ICE elevations DIALOG

Design Story 05

A tasteful mix of materials brings scale and character to the overall exterior composition. Brick and reclaimed tyndall stone panels represent the history and permanence of the campus setting, while the ductal concrete and curtain wall provide a contemporary counterpoint. The west elevation of stacked red brick wraps down and under to form a canopy over the entrance. The entrance on the north side includes tyndall stone panels reclaimed from the former downtown historic Hudson’s Bay store. The pattern of the stone work references the adjacent buildings.


2016 Award of Excellence in Engineering - Institutional Buildings, Consulting Engineers of Alberta