This three-storey project included the change of use, seismic retrofit, and upgrade of an existing concrete and steel research building at Simon Fraser University. Located in the Discovery Park research area adjacent to the Burnaby campus, Discovery 1 was renovated in order to convert the interior areas into flexible campus space.

Project Essentials

  • LocationBurnaby, BC
  • ClientSimon Fraser University
  • ArchitectPerkins + Will
  • Size96,445 ft² (8,960 m²)
  • BudgetC$6 million
  • Sustainable Features Targets LEED Gold

Fast + Epp upgraded the diaphragm via hollow steel sections trussing; this increased flexibility meant the building could now accommodate a variety of academic and other uses: multi-tenant office and teaching facilities with classrooms, teaching labs, wet labs, and support spaces (such as offices and tutorial rooms). The existing atrium remained  a key social hub.

Our firm also assisted in the design of a new “floating” concrete entry stair to upgrade the exterior wall assemblies and stair. Surrounded by a steel and glass canopy, the building’s once nondescript entrance is now welcoming and dynamic. Natural light and fresh air were prioritized during design, to promote healthier study and work spaces on campus.


Additionally, the project team completed a phased renovation of an occupied lab, completing a full seismic and fireproofing upgrade. This required the removal and reinstallation of both tile and drywall ceilings, without disrupting sensitive ongoing experiments – all during the university’s Christmas break.