Brock Plaza


Brock Plaza


St. Catharines


Tlat Seam Cladding


McKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects Limited


Semple Gooder Roofing Ltd.


Canadian Brass & Copper Co.


Late in 2006 a new facility, the Plaza, opened at Brock University, in St. Catharines, Ontario. It houses the new campus book store,
classrooms, faculty research labs, and the Jack and Nora Walker Canadian Centre for Lifespan Development Research, a venture which
brings together researchers from all seven of Brock's faculties and a number of outside not-for-profit organizations devoted to the study of
human development from cradle to grave, at a central location in the university.

As is the case with many institutional projects across the country, Brock University is interested in building facilities that are energy efficient,
use durable and recycled materials, and have a smaller environmental footprint than standard buildings of a similar type. To achieve these
goals, Enermodal Engineering of Kitchener, Ontario, was responsible for suggesting energy saving and green strategies and auditing the Plaza
at the completion of construction. It was awarded a LEED® green rating of Silver.

Part of this achievement was due to the extensive amount of sheet copper that was used on its exterior, a key component in the building's
design, by McKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects Limited, of Halifax, with Rounthwaite Dick & Hadley Architects, Inc., of Toronto. Great bands
of copper appear to wrap around the building, creating a distinctive stratified appearance. This is partly due to the large overhangs of the
material at the top and bottom of each band of cladding, creating the appearance of distinct shadows over the façade. Copper's role in the
project was described by architect Brian MacKay-Lyons in The Ontario Construction Report: "Integral to the project are the exterior materials: copper cladding, Niagara Escarpment stone, and the liberal use of glass."

For the cladding system, 20-oz. quarter-hard copper sheet was used throughout. A total of 2,000 pounds (14,500 kgs) of copper was
needed for the various shapes and sections, and was supplied by Canadian Brass and Copper Co. of Concord, Ontario. The various sections were formed from coil stock and sheared to meet the different requirements of the individual locations on the building. The panels were formed
in the shop, with some field alterations taking place in a mini-shop set up on-site. The Plaza illustrates once again that copper is perhaps the
best choice for an architectural metal if one considers all of the factors that contribute to a project's "greenness". In addition, the project will
surely benefit from copper's striking appearance and great natural beauty. Seeing the project age to a uniform, traditional patina over the years, without the use of chemicals or other artificial treatments,will only emphasize the material's green characteristics.