The first cyber-secure building in Atlantic Canada “dedicated to critical infrastructure protection” is on the rise in Fredericton, N.B.
Called Cyber Park, the $37-million project — a 150,000-square-foot, four-storey building — is being constructed for the cyber security of Canada’s infrastructure, including defence systems, finance, transportation, hydro-electrical production and water.
“It is all the critical things that are becoming connected to the internet,” Larry Shaw, CEO, Ignite Fredericton (Cyber Park’s economic development arm) and Knowledge Park, the development’s owner, says.
Shaw says there are lots of companies in cyber-security but few that have the agenda to protect country’s critical infrastructure.
“We are dealing with the things the country would say are critical to keep us moving forward and to keep us alive on a day-to-day basis.”
Owned privately, Cyber Park is an extension of Knowledge Park — a five-building complex housing 60 or so companies that was created in the 1998 as an economic driver for the knowledge industry.
Shaw says building costs for the project are high because “from the ground up we are building a more robust building — the steel is bigger; the cement is more, and all the interior walls have wire mesh for rigidity and to prevent things like espionage — RF (radio frequency) penetration…”
The development is a partnership between private industry, governments and academia, Shaw says, adding it works with partners around the globe to implement best practices. “Also, we are sharing it with other key stakeholders whether it is the Department of (National) Defence, Transportation…”
He says during development, design and construction, the project “has had a significant number of eyes on it” for security reasons. Fredericton-based EXP was retained as the architect at the RFP stage, but the development also had a “post RFP” where Pomerleau was awarded general contractor and Stantec as the engineer. The project manager is KP Development.
A security company monitors the construction, which started about a year ago, to clear each contractor and sub-contractor for entry onto the project. “They make sure fake contractors don’t get in and hide things in the walls, etc.,” Shaw says.
The building, which is 70 per cent leased, will be completed in October 2020. “It will have the who’s who of the cyber zoo.”
One of the occupants will be the province’s Emergency Measures Organization. “Cyber will quickly become even more important in terms of emergency measures and the reaction to what happens if someone comes in and shuts down our entire financial network…or other activities in the cyber-world,” Shaw says.
Capable of operating on its own for 96 hours, the building will feature several duplicate and backup systems, including electrical services to two separate electrical rooms serviced by separate substations. There will also be two stand-alone power generation sources for backup power.
“There are multiple layers of resilience built into the building,” he explains.
Cyber Park will house a critical infrastructure security operations centre where various cyber companies leasing space in the building will be able to collaborate on cyber-security issues occurring not just locally but around the world.
“As (cyber) events start to materialize they will be able to oversee them and react to them more quickly,” Shaw says, adding he believes the building’s cyber operations centre is the first of its type in the world.
While Cyber Park might feel like it is built like a fort to some occupants, Shaw says, the grounds around it are designed as a buffer to “bad actors” who can’t get near the building because there are protective berms and bollards around the site and the parking lot is security gated. It is also designed to withstand or be resilient to Mother Nature. “The building has a high level of what we describe as post-disaster capabilities,” Shaw says.