Ryerson University is excited to invest in a new, purpose-built research facility for the Faculty of Science’s Department of Chemistry and Biology.
Located in the MaRS Discovery District – one of Canada’s most exciting innovation centres — the new centre features nearly 20,000 square feet of high-tech, collaborative laboratory space designed to support Ryerson faculty and graduate student researchers working in a broad range of disciplines, from microbiology to aquatic sciences to biochemistry and more. The new facility adds much-needed updated laboratory space to Ryerson’s campus, where researchers have long been scattered across different buildings and facilities. The investment reflects the dramatic growth in the size and influence of the University’s science programs in recent years.
Highlights of Ryerson’s new MaRS space include multiple research workstations, shared office space for principal researchers, wet- and dry-laboratory spaces, controlled environment rooms, radioisotope and tissue culture facilities and a well-appointed suite of technologies, instruments and equipment designed to support leading-edge scientific enquiry.
An important aspect of the project is its emphasis on creating collaborative spaces to foster shared exploration and synergy among the researchers working in different disciplines. Additionally, the MaRS building location places Ryerson researchers in the heart of a tenant community focused on the next generation of science and technology research and application, and known for innovative collaboration. Along the way, the design has been shaped in part by the essential input of the project’s Faculty User Group, which brings together seven (7) members from the department with the project’s representatives and architects, who have a successful track record in designing cutting-edge research laboratories.
The new facility at MaRS reflects Ryerson’s commitment to excellence in science and discovery, and will enable faculty and student researchers to shape the next generation of exploration, innovation and knowledge.
Fall 2016: The Ryerson Biomedical Research Laboratory at MaRS Discovery District is now operational.
For relevant program information, visit Ryerson’s Faculty of Science.
Spring/Summer 2016: Construction is in progress.
March 1, 2016: The Construction Manager is onsite and site work has begun.
February 5, 2016: The Construction Manager is preparing to move on to the site and begin site work.
December 23, 2015: The MaRS lease has been signed; Ryerson now has access to the site to begin preparations for the work.
The Ryerson Biomedical Research Laboratory at MaRS Discovery District is now open and operational! Thanks to the terrific efforts of the project team, Faculty of Science User Group and construction partners, the project was completed ahead of schedule and within the project budget.
Faculty members and researchers moved in at the end of August, in time for the new academic year. Ryerson’s President formally launched the new facility in early October.
Given the careful handling required for moving highly-specialized equipment and delicate “in-progress” research projects from their existing facilities around campus, the move was complex. Now, the nine Principal Investigators (PIs) and their projects have been successfully situated together in one up-to-date laboratory. Although a few of the normal final adjustments and follow-ups are underway, the space is already productive and is Ryerson’s newest research jewel.
As construction moves into the final stages, the MaRS project site continues to be very active.
The open wet-lab services (air, water, electrical and data) are completed, which means the delivery and installation of key furniture can soon begin. The two cold rooms which divide the space are now operational, while the flooring and carpet installation in the dry lab is complete. The PI pavilion is also complete, with the installation of its windows and doors now underway. Also underway is the tiling work in the kitchen and café areas. Construction of the meeting room is in progress, with the partition walls up and installation of drywall, acoustic panelling and flooring scheduled to start soon. Installation of the chilled beam mechanical system and the IT infrastructure and cabling continues throughout the facility.
In the coming weeks, commissioning activities will begin. Initially, this will focus on testing those systems that integrate with the building’s main systems to ensure they are functioning properly. As this process requires some shutdowns, it necessitates careful coordination with the landlord and other tenants. Building inspections will begin next month, while safety and other detailed training and orientation activities in the new space will launch in late July and early August, in preparation for the August completion and September occupancy dates.
In the meantime, the project team is in the process of hiring a move manager to coordinate the complex move-in activities. Disassembling, relocating and re-assembling sensitive equipment, and moving research projects and experiments that are “in progress” requires a move manager with highly specialized skills and experience.
June featured two important site activities on the Ryerson Lab at MaRS site.
In early June, the CPRE project team hosted a “Day in the Life” session, bringing together the Principal Investigators (PIs) who will be working in the space along with representatives from their existing labs and CPRE project team members. Together, they walked through the various workflows, logistics and processes as would unfold in the new facility, in an effort to better understand the practicalities of working in the new shared space. As Ryerson researchers have been operating in small, solo spaces scattered around campus, the shift to the new shared facility represents a significant change. (Read more about this in the Spotlight interview with Dr. Warren Wakarchuk.) The Day in the Life exercise surfaced invaluable insights and minor but important refinements to facility details, and helps everyone prepare for a successful transition.
Meanwhile, CPRE hosted a site tour for project stakeholders in mid-June. PIs and other members of the Faculty of Science joined representatives from Campus Facilities and Sustainability and other key university representatives to tour the site and observe the ahead-of-schedule construction progress first-hand. The tour was followed by a small celebration with the project architects, construction manager and other project team members to mark the milestones achieved to date.
Construction Start: February 2016
Projected Completion: August 2016
Projected Opening: September 2016
Address: MaRS Discovery District – Phase 2 Centre
661 University Ave, 11th Floor
Gross floor area: 1,688.25 m2 (18,172 sq.ft.) on one floor
Building Programming Highlights
|Construction Manager:||Eastern Construction Company Ltd.|
|Commissioning Provider:||MMM Group|
|Quantity Surveyor and Cost Consultant:||A.W. Hooker|
|External Project Management Services:||WSP Canada Inc.|