By Conner Schaeffer

Aaraksh Siwakoti Photo
Algonquin’s Student Commons has been recognized for design excellence by the Canadian Design Build Institute as an efficient and effective project.

One of Canada’s major design-build associations has awarded the Robert C. Gillett Student Commons a National Award of Excellence.

The Canadian Design-Build Institute recognized Algonquin’s Student Commons as an efficient and effective project at a national conference last month.

“The construction went very well and is considered a very successful project overall,” said John Dalziel, the head of major construction at Algonquin. PCL constructors worked together with the IBI group and Teeple Architects Inc. to complete the project on time and on budget.

The construction began April 2011 and concluded August 2012, completing the building in a total of 18 months. The project consisted of over 127,000 square feet and includes three levels of student services, an auditorium, computer store, food court, Starbucks and a large meeting place for students.

The total cost of the project, including all fees, was $52 million. The final result was completed under budget.

“The Student Commons building is a beautiful building,” said the Executive Director of CDBI Dianna Fournier. The purpose of CDBI is to promote the use of design-build as a construction method and give incentive to building projects.

“When we receive the projects they are not competing against each other, they’re competing on score,” said Fournier. Each building is scored separately on a criteria based on various aspects such as sustainability, budget, duration, design, owners opinion and practicality.

A jury decides on the categories, depending on the submissions, and evaluates each project accordingly.

The name of the building was elected by the Students Association Board of Directors at Algonquin in recognition of the former president of the college, Robert C. Gillett for his achievements and success at the college.

The Student Commons award is one of many awards the college has received in the buildings category. Other national awards include: LEED Platinum and SCUP Award of Excellence for the ACCE building, LEED Gold award for Perth and the City of Ottawa Award of Merit. These awards display the outstanding achievements of the college and promote future success.

“Algonquin College are members of the Canadian Design-Build Institute and are great advocates of Canadian Design-Build,” said Fournier.