Athens 2023 | Innovation

University of Alberta Dentistry Pharmacy Building

CanadaCanadaCompany Name: Kerr Interior Systems

Project description

The Dentistry Pharmacy Building was originally built in 1922- and is one of the University of Alberta’s most historic buildings and it entered redevelopment in 2020 as part of a strategy to consolidate space for staff and programming.
This 42,000-square-meter facility provides modern and collaborative research, laboratory, and teaching spaces for the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. The building has been renamed the University Commons as it sits in the heart of U of A and will be a gathering space for all members of our community—housing various academic, research, service and administrative units. Originally built in phases starting in 1922, the renewal of this iconic structure blends old with new to create a bright, modern, dynamic space for learning, teaching and research. It will be a place that belongs to everyone, a front door that welcomes all. Blending our campus history with the future, the building’s 1922 brick façade leads to a meeting place in a modern, new seven-story North Wing.
Kerr has worked diligently the past 22 months planning, restoring, reinforcing and rebuilding elements all through the 1922 building while simultaneously erecting a seven-story start of the art modern and innovative North Wing.
The century old brick façade of the 1922 building is now face to face and one seamless unit with the new Glass 7 story north wing.

Main information

Sustainability certification goal
Building size

42 000 m²

Building purpose / type


Building owner name

of Alberta

Architect name

GEC Architecture


Company name: Kerr Interior Systems

Main Representative: Wendell Wiebe & Darryl Wiebe

Number of collaborators: 110 employees

Specialties: Steel stud framing, Drywall and taping, Insulation, Acoustic ceilings, Specialty ceilings and acoustic panels, Load bearing steel stud building

Founded in: 1978

Biography: KERR started in 1978 by: Ken Rubin, Ed Wiebe, Russ McAuley, and Ron Creusot, hence the name KERR.  They started out as a T-bar company, doubled their revenue in 2 years. They were committed to each other, they slowly grew the company through the boom of the late 70’s and surviving the bust of the early 80’s and the recession that followed. In 2007 KERR started developing a semi-automated assembly line for panelizing to improve efficiency and reduce time spent on site. KERR can construct up to an 8 story building using Load bearing steel stud and Comslab or Ultra-bond floor systems, or a combination of steel stud joists and shallow deck for the floors.  KERR builds custom steel stud Roof trusses up to a 60’ span. 

Innovation Partner: Clark Builders, Andrew Ross – CEO

U of A Dentistry Pharmacy Building - Gypsum International Trophy 2023

Contractors: Wendell Wiebe & Darryl Wiebe

General Contractor’s testimonial
Clark Builders Andrew Ross – CEO
We are always pleased to partner with KERR, and know that any time they join us on a project, the delivered results will be of the highest workmanship and quality.

Saint-Gobain products & systems

Saint-Gobain Team

Tara Ryton (Territory Sales Manager)

Photographer’s name

GEC Architecture,
Adrien Williams Photos Inc.