The University of Waterloo envisioned a building that would be an optimal facility for their athletes but also a place for all students to grow and challenge themselves during their university experience. One of the design goals was for the new facility to connect with the existing buildings on campus and integrate with overall future master plan.

Enter the team at WalterFedy to help them make their vision a reality.

From the beginning, one of the challenges in this project, Project Architect, Ali Rawi of WalterFedy recalls was, “integrating the building with the existing facilities and future master plan was essential. Material integration was a key consideration, including the color scheme of the exterior elevations, playing turf, section dividers, and high-quality daylighting that would meet our specifications. We wanted to maximize natural daylighting without disturbing the players and users in the building” says Rawi.

While searching for a daylighting solution, Ali Rawi recalled his colleague recommend Solera® by Advanced Glazings Ltd. as they had used it before in previous project installations. “Solera engineered daylight diffusers checked all the boxes for us. Solera® was able to distribute daylight evenly throughout the space without affecting the users’ ability to play. This was the main reason we choose Solera® for this space.” Rawi continues, “we couldn’t use normal vision glass in this space. Although the mandated thermal goals may have been met, the glare, visual comfort and thermal performance goals wouldn’t. This would create an uneven distribution of natural light entering the sport field and often negatively impact the players and users in the space.”

The location of Solera®’s daylighting in this space was strategically thought-out to control the sun’s glare and heat to ensure the usability of this space is always maintained. Rawi explains, “Solera® is located in the Southeast elevation. We choose not to place Solera® in the Northwest elevation because natural light wasn’t a concern from this direction.” Rawi says, “we got samples and agreed on the configurations of Solera® to connect with the existing building and location of the daylighting units for a seamless integration into this space.”

Glass Canada’s Project Manager, Rob Kuenzig says, “the shipments were on schedule and arrived quickly. We installed Solera® with a crane and 85-foot man-lifts. The final product was excellent and the clients are happy with their natural daylighted space.”

The turf field measures 100 by 50 meters and can be divided into three separate areas allowing for multiple sporting events at once. Project Architect Ali Rawi said he visited the sport field twice after construction completion. “The first time, the space was open as one full playing field and the second time, the space was divided into three different playing fields. Both times, the natural daylight performed very well for players and users in this space.” Rawi continues, “The natural daylight from Solera® integrated wonderfully with the other colors in the space including the dividing curtain with the University logo and the playing field glass.”

The University and the design team of WalterFedy were able to create a facility that ‘connects’ not only the students but also the campus look and feel. "This new Field House is much more than additional physical space for athletic activities. It is a new space for all of our students to strengthen their experience on campus through recreational sports, wellness programs and simply coming together as a community” said President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Waterloo, Feridun Hamdullahpur, in an article published by the University following the Grand Opening of the facility.

Advanced Glazings Ltd. was excited to have Solera® chosen for this project. We are a bit partial to University of Waterloo as Solera® technology began its roots in the Engineering Solar Research Laboratory, where our Founder, Dr. Douglas Milburn did his graduate work and was also a member of the varsity ruby team. This new field house is wonderful addition to the University of Waterloo and we’re excited for students to experience it now and well into the future.

Watch the video below to unveil the Waterloo Warrior's CIF Field House: