Digital edition 2021 | Plasterboard

McMaster University Living and Learning Centre

CanadaCanadaCompany Name: P.J. Daly Contracting Limited

Project description

McMaster University Living and Learning Centre is a 3,809m2, thirteen storey collaborative student residence building with integrated academia located in Hamilton, ON Canada. The intended use of the building and integrative design is to create a space where students can connect with peers who share similar interests and where they can continue their education outside of the standard classroom environment. The project houses over 92,900 square meter of gypsum products- that of which include curved walls, spanning the South wall of the Active Learning Centre and towering several stories. 4,645 square meter of standard and specialty acoustic ceiling systems were also installed.


P.J. Daly Contracting Limited

P.J. Daly Contracting Limited- once known as P.J. Daly and Sons- was established in 1953, by two young and determined life partners, Pat and Anne Daly. The Daly’s created a successful drywall contracting business and started a family of 6, within 6 years. In coming years, the Daly’s faced one of their greatest hardships, losing their son Michael in a 1966 farm accident. In the depths of the tragedy of losing Michael, Pat and Anne bravely moved forward with fortitude. They invested their time and energy into loving their sons and creating a new firm-P.J. Daly Contracting Limited. “There is beauty in tragedy. For tragedy has the power to motivate the human mind. It can turn weaknesses into strengths and become greatness. Why would you focus on the storm, when you can focus on the rainbow?” The devoted Pat and Anne Daly were awarded their first major project, St. Margaret Mary, in 1967. The new Catholic Church was completed with great success and catapulted P.J.Daly Contracting Limited’s ambitious mindset. The completion of this project is said to be the real starting point of the company’s vision. In following years, P.J.Daly Contracting Limited completed many notable buildings such as: Mississauga General Hospital, Sudbury Taxation Centre, Bank of Canada (Ottawa), Copps Coliseum, Hamilton Market & Library, Hamilton Convention Centre and Trade Centre, Mississauga Civic Centre, Canada’s Wonderland, Hamilton General Hospital, London Cancer Clinic, Terminal 3-YYZ

Fire protection
CertainTeed Type X board features a specially formulated core providing fire resistance ratings when used in tested assemblies.
Acoustic control
Ecophon Solo Baffles are easy-to-install baffles that reduce reverberation and excess noise, creating a more productive work environment in open space
Robustness guarantee
NO-COAT® provides optimal strength and performance for the toughest, straightest edge
Superior aesthetic and design
CertainTeed Symphony Acoustic Ceiling Panels have a smooth visual coupled with a superior finish, exceptional durability, and outstanding cleanability
Moisture resistance
M2Tech Shaftliner allows for one side construction eliminating the need for extensive scaffolding, providing rapid and increased ease of installation

Key Achievements

  • Provided a level 5 finish on large curved walls in main hallway using CertainTeed Level 5 Primer with the recommendation of 2 skim coats of Certainteed compound.
  • Executed a complex F50 curved wall, with a radius up to 50′ and height of 49′
  • Completed a floating, multi-storey circular staircase with gypsum board

Key Challenges

Elaborate institutional and residential design with very intricate details, involving complex shop drawing creation and revisions for specialty products.
Large, multi-functional spaces with grand wall heights, requiring installation and finishing via multi-storey scaffolding systems
Busy university with a large student population creating high traffic areas.


Building owner:
McMaster University
Diamond Schmitt Architects
Main contractor:
Ellis Don
Dan Daly
Saint-Gobain Team:
Tom Martorelli (Interior Systems Contractor Manager)Robert Hartogsveld (Architectural Solutions Manager, Sales)