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Ocean Excellence Centre to be built with $30M funding


Halifax, NS – In the past year, Dalhousie University’s Life Sciences Centre has received a $34.5 million retrofit project that was partially funded through the Knowledge Infrastructure Program. Now, construction is set to begin on a new addition to the facility.

Dubbed the Oceans Excellence Centre, the 68,000-sq-ft complex, which was recently approved with a project budget of $30 million, will be added to the building. The four-story building begins construction this spring with an estimated completion date of January 2013.

The building’s major tenant will be Doug Wallace – Dalhousie’s new Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Ocean Science and Technology – and his lab group. Part of the building will include a unique container bay that will hold several portable labs constructed from standard 20-ft shipping containers. This will allow Dr Wallace and his team to work in the same labs out at sea as they do when they’re back on shore.

The Oceans Excellence Centre will also house offices and research space for the Ocean Tracking Network, along with several new large water tanks as part of the Aquatron research facility. These will help the Aquatron expand its relationships with industrial and other clients. There will also be two floors of the addition that will not initially be finished, allowing for future expansion of LSC-related research activities.

Alex Walker, director of projects with facilities management, explains that a recently approved sustainable building policy will mean that the OEC will be targeting LEED Gold certification.

Reported by Ryan McNutt