University of New Brunswick — Saint John
“Gorgeous structure” transforms campus, brings environmental benefits
“It’s our signature building, the first one that comes into view when you enter our campus, and it’s a gorgeous structure,” says University of New Brunswick (UNB) President Eddy Campbell. He is speaking of the new Hans W. Klohn Commons Building on the university’s Saint John campus. The facility was opened to students in September 2011.
Situated at the core of UNB’s Saint John campus, the building provides students and faculty with an innovative and world-class sustainable learning environment. It is UNB’s first green building and is the first stand-alone, purpose-built facility of its kind in Atlantic Canada.
“It contains a 21st-century library, lots of social space for people to interact in—classrooms, reception areas, study space—and houses many disciplines,” says Campbell. Building features include the Student Technology Centre, the Writing Centre, the Math and Science Help Centre, a classroom, the Commons Café, as well as lounges and flexible seating areas that can be transformed into guest lecture halls.
“This building will be part of the fabric of the city of Saint John as well as our campus,” Campbell adds. “We wanted to provide a top-notch facility for our students but, as well, increase our outreach to the community around us by hosting community events here.”
Financial contributions to the $25-million project came from the Knowledge Infrastructure Program (KIP) ($8 million) and the province of New Brunswick ($10.3 million). The remainder was funded by the City of Saint John and various public and private donors, including the families of Arthur and Jack Irving, who donated $3 million in honour of their friend and associate, Hans W. Klohn, after whom the building was named.
“KIP funding was vital to the creation of the university commons building,” says Campbell. “We could not have taken on this tremendous project without it.”
The building was designed to the Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) Silver standard. The energy-efficient features include a system to capture rain water for use in the building and walls of glass to maximize daylight, all of which will minimize the building’s environmental footprint.
“We are a provincial university and our community expects that we are leaders and environmental stewards,” explains Campbell. “We have invested in an energy management program that is saving us substantial amounts of money around the campus. This building has been designed to perform at least 40 percent better than the Model National Energy Code.”
This innovative, world-class, sustainable facility created a stir on campus even before its official grand opening, he says. “The new building is beautiful inside and out and will support opportunities to enhance lifelong learning. Besides being an architectural landmark, it will contribute to improving the intellectual and cultural life of our community.”
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