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$33.5 million SIRC facility taking shape in Oshawa

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by Tracy Hanes

Work will be completed this fall on a $33.5 million building that will serve as a centre for research at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) in north Oshawa, Ont.
The four-storey, 80,000-square-foot Software and Informatics Research Centre at Oshawa, Ont.’s University of Ontario Institute of Technology will house health and business analytics, IT security, gaming, networking and software engineering. EllisDon is the general contractor on the building that will be completed in two phases, in September and November.
The four-storey, 80,000-square-foot Software and Informatics Research Centre at Oshawa, Ont.’s University of Ontario Institute of Technology will house health and business analytics, IT security, gaming, networking and software engineering. EllisDon is the general contractor on the building that will be completed in two phases, in September and November. - Photo: TRACY HANES

The four-storey, 80,000-square-foot Software and Informatics Research Centre (SIRC) will be a hub in health and business analytics, IT security, gaming, networking and software engineering.

EllisDon is the general contractor on the building that will be completed in two phases, in September and November. The project received $13 million from the federal and provincial governments, with the remainder funded by the university's capital reserves and support from donors, alumni and business community benefactors.

"We're moving forward and are on schedule," said Larry Brual, senior project manager in the Office of Campus Infrastructure and Sustainability at UOIT.

The first two floors of the SIRC feature innovative, flexible learning spaces with labs, classrooms, collaborative seating, administration offices and multi-use rooms. E-learning, more e-guest lectures and interactions with industries will be facilitated through digital and conferencing technology, the university states.

The office of the registrar will be centralized to a single location in the SIRC, freeing up student space in other campus buildings and providing a "one-stop shop" for students. In three Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science laboratories, equipment will be interchangeable. There will be outdoor amenity spaces where individuals and groups of students can study and collaborate, a release reads.

The SIRC will be a high performance building designed by the Toronto office of Dialog, an integrated architecture and design firm, said Brual. The target is a 25 per cent reduction in energy over industry standards.

An LED lighting system will utilize occupancy sensors that turn on and off when a person enters and leaves a room. It also has a daylight harnessing feature that will sense light coming in from the windows and dim or brighten as required. The building is designed with a low window-to-wall ratio to provide for an abundance of natural light.

Stormwater run-off will be managed responsibly, Brual added.

"There are bio-retention features so if there is any surface water run-off, it will be collected and filtered naturally before it goes into the sewer, so there won't be dirty water going into the municipal system," he said.

The SIRC will have efficient heating, cooling and ventilation systems to save energy. Brual said the building will also exceed accessibility requirements and have push button access to classrooms and labs to accommodate people with disabilities.

While the third and fourth floors of the SIRC were originally planned to be shelled space for future classrooms and learning space, enough funding has come through to finish those floors now, said Brual. The first two floors of the SIRC will be ready for occupancy in September, with the higher levels ready in November.

The third floor will house the faculty of engineering and applied sciences, while the fourth will accommodate the faculty of business information technology.

EllisDon also constructed the university's first three buildings at the north Oshawa location: the Science Building, the Business and Information Technology Building and the Campus Library.

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