Notification Window


52CE - The Making of the Bergeron Centre: What, Why and How?

25 May 2018 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

1.5 ConEd Learning Hours

The “Renaissance Engineer,” “Design Excellence, Sustainability,” “Modified Project Delivery” and “Building Information Modelling” were all thematic issues explored during the development of The Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence at York University. At a time when universities are competing to distinguish themselves and innovate with new programming and industry partnerships, this new facility has made an impact in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The Bergeron Centre reflects a university’s aspiration to provide facilities that make an impact on a grand scale: bold architecture, smart classrooms and dynamic community spaces. It also demonstrates a commitment to rethink these places as student-centric with a building that responds to the student journey in its planning and development.

The project will be described through the experiences of the university architect and the project director/consulting architect through a diverse conversation about what, why and how challenges were faced and lessons learned. Beginning a project with a start-up faculty, an ambitious new program aspiration, modest budget and an immoveable schedule required the project team to leverage skills and new processes to shape this complex building. The result is a facility designed to empower the next generation of male and female engineers to better solve the world’s problems.

Learning Objectives

  1. Learn what inspired the development of this program and how a building can support that vision.
  2. Learn why it was important to strive for design excellence and sustainability in this context.
  3. Learn how modified project delivery was a key driver to schedule and budget certainty.
  4. Learn how the power of building information modelling (BIM) was harnessed to produce a building of high technical quality and futureproofed for adaptive change.


Patrick Saavedra, B.Arch.Sci, M.Arch., M.U.P., OAA, RAIC, AIA, NCARB, and Paul Stevens, OAA, AIBC, AAA, NSAA, MRAIC, AIA, LEED AP

Patrick Saavedra is the university architect and director of planning, architecture and renewal Projects at York University where he oversees approximately 200 projects a year and several large-capital projects. Patrick has a Bachelor of Architectural Science from Ryerson University, a Masters of Architecture and Masters of Urban Planning from the University of Michigan and has completed studies at University of Copenhagen. He has 25 years of professional experience as an architect, a planner and educator. Patrick currently teaches foreign trained architects at Ryerson University in a post-professional program and has been a guest critic at architectural schools in the United States and Canada.

Paul Stevens is a senior principal at ZAS Architects Inc. in Toronto where he has directed and designed many high-profile projects across Canada, Asia and the Middle East. Recent and innovative lauded projects include the Digital Media Lab at the University of Waterloo, the Vaughan Civic Centre Resource Library and the River City residential development in Toronto’s West Don Lands. Paul was the project director for multi-award-winning Bergeron Centre at York University, where he led the design and technical team to produce a building of iconic notoriety and wide popularity.

This session is sponsored by: