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Algonquin Centre for Construction Excellence, Ottawa, Ontario

The Algonquin Centre for Construction Excellence not only showcases high-performance building systems and leading-edge construction technologies, it is a “living lab” for its students.


Client: Algonquin College

Our client’s challenge

The client’s objective was to create a teaching/educational facility that would position the College as leaders in technical education and provide students with an integrated, interdisciplinary, hands-on learning experience, akin to what they will encounter in the “real world.” The College also wanted to build a sustainable, uniquely green building with minimum impact on the environment and maximum energy and water savings.

Our approach

Providing structural engineering and LEED consulting services, WSP (as the former Halsall) was part of a highly-collaborative design and construction team engaged to deliver the ACCE under a tight schedule.

The exemplary structure incorporates timber, steel and concrete, as well as innovative, high ductility Seismic Eccentrically Braced Frames (EFB). The facility also optimizes daylighting and incorporates renewable energy, rainwater reuse, a green roof and a green wall.


The unique design, which showcases different construction materials, technologies and systems, is studied and monitored by the students as an integral part of their learning experience. Being able to see actual building components (or mock-ups) gives students a deeper understanding of how structures can be formed and how they behave under service loads.

Students are also able to see and monitor the building’s impact on the environment through the “living lab” or central command.

The project was awarded LEED Platinum certification, the highest green building ranking given by the Canadian Green Building Council.