Groundbreaking for Research Park
Sod turned on Green Building
The first visible sign of Sarnia’s bio-innovation leadership appeared Wednesday with a groundbreaking ceremony for a new “Green Building” at the University of Western Research and Development Park.
The 75,000 square-foot office building will be a state-of-the-art expansion to the park, said executive director Joel Adams. “This new facility will be one of the first office buildings of its kind in southwestern Ontario,” he said. “We will strive for ecological management of the construction site and have plans for indoor air quality monitoring and showers for employees who use active transportation modes, such as bicycles.”
Other green elements include natural lighting, energy efficient design, local materials and products, and recycled products.
The $20-million building is designed to achieve a LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) designation by the Canadian Green Building Council. The rating system is a third party certification and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance and environmentally friendly buildings.
Construction is scheduled to be complete in early 2010.
Tenants will include Colt WorleyParsons, existing tenants of the research park, and several large companies are also looking at the facility said Don Hewson, managing director of the research park.
“We had several people through this morning,” he said. “There is an enormous demand for this, and it’s driven by people’s sense of sustainability.”
He added that with Colt WorleyParsons moving out of the existing buildings, that space can be converted back into lab space — its original purpose- — for researchers working on leading edge technologies, particularly in renewable, sustainable bio-based products.
“This will assist Sarnia’s transformation from a petrochemical-based economy to a more sustainable economy,” said Hewson.
In addition to the new building, work has already begun on the second phase of a multi-million dollar renovation to the existing campus, including lab and pilot plant facilities, funded by both federal and provincial governments. These renovations will establish the new Bioindustrial Innovation Centre.
“I believe we’ll see over 1,000 new jobs here over the next five to ten years,” said Mayor Mike Bradley, who is chairperson of the park. “Jobs that will change the face of this community.”
Five years ago, the city and county purchased a collection of buildings and vacant land on Modeland Road, where Dow Chemical once conducted its research and development.
Observer Article ID# 1215814