Campus Life

The University of Lethbridge’s newest building to be named Science Commons

The University of Lethbridge’s new $280-million science facility has been named Science Commons.

The name was chosen to reflect the fact that the building brings together eight different departments in an environment that stimulates collaboration and brings a multidisciplinary approach to solving the complex problems of today.

“The main idea behind using the word “commons” was to reflect the fact that this building is inviting, not to only our scientists, but to everyone across campus from all faculties, as well as the entire community in Lethbridge and southern Alberta,” says Dr. Matthew Letts, interim dean of the Faculty of Arts & Science.

As Canada’s most advanced science facility, Science Commons brings together faculty and students from Chemistry & Biochemistry, Biological Sciences, Neuroscience, Physics & Astronomy and Psychology. The building is designed to provide an environment where bright minds can join forces to consider the wider implications of their work. Students will work alongside world-renowned researchers as they tackle complex questions, supported by state-of-the-art spaces, equipment and resources.

Science Commons also features dedicated spaces that allow the U of L to double its capacity for science outreach with schools, through science camps and clubs, and the community at large, through lifelong learning and meeting places.

“Science Commons is the perfect descriptor because the building is specially equipped for world-class scientific research and teaching, while the word “commons” denotes that the space is meant for everyone. The science-on-display concept is designed to encourage community participation, showcase the extraordinary work that happens in the labs here and inspire the next generation,” says Letts.

Designed to enhance the U of L’s sustainability, Science Commons demonstrates Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and aims for gold LEED certification. With its natural ventilation, the Science Commons takes advantage of the sun and the wind. Floor-to-ceiling windows and interior glass walls maximize the amount of natural light. An active lighting system equipped with LED lights, motion sensors and sensors that automatically dim lights when natural light is available help prevent energy waste. High-efficiency control systems provide energy savings and the Wintergarden takes advantage of the southern sun exposure to preheat air entering the building’s ventilation system, further reducing heating costs.

Everyone is invited to come and see Science Commons for themselves during the Big Bang Grand Opening Weekend on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 13 and 14. Official opening ceremonies are scheduled for Friday, Sept. 13 at 11 a.m. As part of the grand opening, a Blackfoot name will be bestowed to the building during a traditional Blackfoot ceremony.