With its elegant 90-meter (300-foot) four-storey glass atrium overlooking the Rideau Canal, the Ottawa School of Information Technology and Engineering (SITE) is one of the most striking buildings in the national capital. The 16,900-square-meter (182,000-square-foot) concrete structure uses a prefabricated system of Thermobuild hollow core slabs. With a rotunda on its north side, the school comprises seven multimedia classrooms, four teaching laboratories and twenty research labs.
The atrium is at the heart of an energy-efficient radiant heating system that uses the thermal mass of the concrete through the hollowed-out slabs of the atrium floor as well as the wall panels. This energy is accumulated in the concrete, that acts as a reservoir, and is transferred to the rest of the building by a heat pump and a radiation cooling system.