University of Western - The Richard Ivey School of Business

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  • Client

    Western University

  • Region

    London, ON

  • City


  • Year Completed

    Phase I : 2012, Phase II: 2013

  • Size

    270,000 sq. ft.

  • Sector


  • Sub-Sector

    Education (Institutional)

The Story

The first phase was a 150,000 square foot, three-storey building. The building envelope consists of brick, walnut, Douglas fir, stone, curtainwall and punched glass windows with highlights throughout of copper. Light was harnessed with the use of glass to fill all areas. Phase two is a 100,000 square foot, four-storey building with the building envelope identical to the first phase; it is the new home for Ivey’s undergraduate, masters and doctoral programs.

The interior of the building is a combination of exposed steel, concrete and wood accented with stone and tile floors, with areas of carpeting, painted surfaces and suspended ceilings. The buildings have stand alone heating and cooling plants, utilizing the latest in energy efficient technology, accompanied by a 250Kw stand by generator ensuring continued comfort during untimely power outages. Western University, together with Ivey Business School (“Ivey”) and the Federal Infrastructure Renewal Fund, made this investment because the existing building site was too small and, as a result, the 1,000 students were spread across five locations.

State-of-the-art communications are incorporated within the facilities lecture theater style classrooms, breakout rooms, lounges, research/program centres, meeting rooms, offices, dining hall, library, auditorium and the great hall, which contains a large two storey stone fireplace.


• The striking “Jewel Box” - a two storey glass framed boardroom that cantilevers over the main entrance
• Natural light was harnessed to illuminate all areas
• Stand alone heating and cooling plants use the latest in energy efficient technology
• State-of-the-art communications are used in the facilities, lecture rooms, breakout rooms, loungers, meeting rooms, offices, dining hall, library, auditorium, and the great hall
• Achieved LEED® Gold Certification

Sustainability Features

The new Richard Ivey School of Business building has met the LEED® Gold Certification standards. As such, it has many sustain-able features:

• Reduced parking facilities to encourage carpooling;
• Locally sourced materials to reduce the project’s carbon footprint;
• Green roof surfaces;
• Shower facilities, lockers and bicycle racks; and
• Storm water recycling capabilities.

Lessons Learned

Architectural expectations on the project were extremely high, which, in turn, meant that normal shop drawing procedures would not suffice for approval of standards. EllisDon utilized mock-ups instead of shop drawings to better understand architectural ex-pectations, and establish a design standard with all stakeholders.

Challenges & Solutions

The Phasing of this project provided additional challenges, including logistics, occupancy, scheduling and client relations, spe-cifically circulating around the Ivey staff and faculty move. To overcome these challenges, the project required a team approach with all stakeholders being required to exercise understanding and flexibility to provide a reasonable solution when issues were presented.


• 2013 London St. Thomas Association of Realtors - Commercial Building Awards Institutional
• 2016 OAA Design Excellence Award

“This Project has been a tremendous success, and has received acclaim from students, faculty, staff and alumni community alike, all thrilled with the design, respect and detail given to the learning environment.”

- John Irwin, CFO, Richard Ivey School of Business

“Throughout the design process the EllisDon team provided practical solutions to construction issues. I can recommend EllisDon without reservation and look forward to future projects with the firm.”

- Siamak Hariri, Founding Partner, Hariri Pontarini Architects