Perkins + Will
9,620 m² (103,500 ft²)
Structural Engineering Consultant
Targeting LEED® Gold
Established in 2015, York University’s School of Continuing Studies has seen significant growth in the number of students enrolled and curricula offered. To keep up, the university is building a standalone home for the SCS that will accommodate growth and innovative programs.
The new school building will comprise 39 classrooms, as well as student lounges, social spaces, private work and breakout spaces, and space for more than 150 staff and instructors. It will be situated at the corner of The Pond Road and James Gillies Street, just south of the Bennett Centre for Student Services and close to the York University TTC Station.
Entuitive was retained by the architect, Perkins + Will, as structural engineering consultants. Our team designed both a timber structure and a steel structure with the aim of offering multiple options to the university and guiding them to the right choice for the school’s needs.
Challenge: Design a structure with a twisting layout. Each storey rotates above the storey below it by a few degrees, meaning every column slopes at a different angle.
Solution: Entuitive designed for gravity-load sway by locating concrete stair cores at two ends of the building where they are strongest and most effective to resist lateral forces. Working with BIM software, our team designed a concrete on-deck diaphragm meant to restrain steel framing and transfer the forces generated from the sloping columns back to the concrete cores. Working in BIM with a building that has all the columns at different angles provides a clear advantage over 2D thinking. Modelling interfaces with slabs and understanding each column’s unique geometry during the design stage will help the fabricator during shop drawing preparation and construction.
Challenge: The upper floors of the school building require different grid spacing than the ground floor, which features large, open classrooms that require column-free spaces.
Solution: Entuitive designed a series of deep transfer girders to accommodate the column offsets.
Challenge: The university had design aspirations that had to fit within budget and approvals.
Solution: Entuitive designed two parallel schemes, timber and steel, to compare structural costs and other related items. We minimized the risk for the client regarding the timber structure while developing a steel solution in case the timber was not approved.
Renderings courtesy of Perkins + Will