The design for this two-phased project follows Arthur Erickson’s 1965 master plan, integrating campus facilities into the landscape of Burnaby Mountain.

Project Essentials

  • LocationBurnaby, BC
  • ClientSFU Campus Planning
  • ArchitectPerkins + Will
  • Size201,000 ft² (18,673 m²)
  • BudgetC$80 million

The need to retain layout flexibility in the first phase severely restricted the use of conventional shear walls or braced frames for lateral stability. Here, Fast + Epp developed an unconventional response to deal with these constraints: a hybrid concrete moment frame and precast hollow core floor system. 

Given the high degree of engineering and construction effort required, this system is seldom seen in North America. Here it made the most sense, given its ability to reduce the seismic forces that the concrete frame is required to resist; beams and columns could be smaller, more economical and less obtrusive. By using precast floor and spandrel panels, Fast + Epp also reduced the seismic load demand on the moment frames, reducing site labour for formwork at a time when construction costs were rapidly escalating.


  • Association of Consulting Engineering Companies British Columbia

    2008 Award of Merit

  • BC Ready-Mixed Concrete Association

    2008 Award of Excellence in Concrete

Phase Two was constructed with conventional flat slabs and shear walls. Feature elements include finely-detailed glulam timber roof beams in the atrium and lecture theatres, and façade mullions throughout the building. Glulams used directly as glazing mullions eliminated the need for traditional prefabricated aluminum frames and create a warm visual counterpoint to the overall concrete aesthetic.