High-performance Glass at Ryerson University Student Learning Centre

The basics: Architects for the Ryerson University Student Learning Centre in Toronto sought to create a striking decorative glass façade that also met stringent energy-efficiency requirements. To balance both goals, designers from Snohetta and Zeidler Partnership Architects combined high-performance glass with digital printing.

The building façade features more than 1,000 panels of digital ceramic printed glass to control light and meet aesthetic goals. To achieve performance requirements, which included meeting LEED Silver certification, the glass is triple glazed with a high-performance low-emissivity coating.

The project received the Glass Magazine Award for Best Decorative Glass Project, Exterior. Read more about the decorative aspects of the façade.

The players: Architects, Zeidler Partnership Architects and Snohetta; construction manager, EllisDon Corporation; project manager, WSP Canada Inc.; glass manufacturer, Guardian Industries Corp.; glass fabricator, Prelco; contract glazier, Flynn Canada Ltd. 

The glass and systems: The project features Guardian SunGuard SuperNeutral 68 in a triple-glazed assembly. The glass is digital printed in white over more than 53,000 square feet of the façade.

“Because of its high visible light transmission, SunGuard SN 68 glass allows natural light to penetrate the interior in beautiful patterns, thanks to the exterior digital print, all the while managing solar heat gain,” says Guardian Architectural Design Manager Leigh Anne Mays. “This helps to keep the building's interior comfortable and helps the Centre achieve outstanding energy performance, important factors in its application to achieve LEED Silver certification.”