Moriyama & Teshima design Lakehead University’s Orillia Campus to highest environmental standard.

Lakehead University and Moriyama and Teshima have unveiled the first structure in Lakehead’s new campus. This and all future buildings on the campus will be designed and constructed to achieve Canada’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum status. Located in Orillia, Ontario, the Lakehead University Orillia campus will be a living model of healthy environments, the conservation of natural resources, a high level of energy and water efficiency, and a reduction in the production of waste and release of substances harmful to the biosphere. Built in three phases, it will be the “first LEED Platinum university campus” in Canada. The project breaks ground in 2009 and will accommodate 7,000 students upon completion.

“Students who choose Lakehead University’s Orillia campus will study in an environment that will be built to the highest levels of environmental responsibility,” says Dr. Fred Gilbert, President of Lakehead University. “Not only will the Orillia campus ensure the long-term sustainability and vitality of Lakehead University, it will place Lakehead in the enviable position of being a continental leader in energy conservation, ecological awareness, and social consciousness.”

The architectural firm of Moriyama & Teshima was chosen from among seven architectural firms following a rigorous selection process. Daniel Teramura, Partner of Moriyama & Teshima, says: “We were delighted to have been awarded this project. The development of LEED-standard buildings is one of our specialty areas, and we are very keen to demonstrate how a university campus can successfully combine responsiveness to the vital needs of students, faculty, and staff while being aesthetically pleasing and environmentally sustainable at the same time.”

According to Teramura, Phase I of the project consists of an academic building which will accommodate up to 1,500 students. Expected to open in the fall of 2010, Phase I will cost $40 to $50 million.

“University design is our passion,” says Teramura. “We are confident that our experience in designing LEED buildings internationally will ensure that Lakehead University achieves its goal. We are looking forward to working with Lakehead to execute a unique design that expresses the University’s vision of creating an enduring campus in harmony with land, nature, site, and context.”

Lakehead University will develop, in the next 15 to 20 years, a full range of academic programs on this new campus, ultimately accommodating an enrolment of approximately 7,000 students in 1.5 million square feet of new academic, instructional research, and support spaces. In addition, residences will be built to accommodate 1,200 students.

Adds Fred Gilbert, “This is an exciting development for Lakehead, the City of Orillia and Simcoe County. We are very pleased to be pioneers in building a university campus to LEED Platinum standards. Furthermore, it is anticipated that the academic programming in Orillia will have an environmental science focus.”

Orillia Mayor Ron Stevens is one of many community leaders who early on recognized the value in having Lakehead University set down permanent roots. “We know that a university fosters economic, social, and cultural development in the community. The fact that Lakehead University has committed to becoming a North American leader in sustainable development bodes well for the City of Orillia and for the Province of Ontario.”