VICTORIA — The University of Victoria (UVic) officially celebrated the opening of its new centralized Ocean-Climate Building recently.
Chandra Herbert, MLA for Vancouver-West End, said the building will help make a difference in the fight to protect oceans and adapt to climate change.
The nearly 30,000 square foot building, which opened in late July, provides an interdisciplinary, collaborative space for UVic’s ocean, climate change and data management research programs.
“These facilities will help the over 200 researchers, scientists and students collaborate, discover and plot a path forward to a cleaner, more sustainable province,” Herbert said in a statement.
The building is a renovated and repurposed former residential care home.
The extensive renovation includes new electrical, sanitary and waterworks connections, fibre optic networks and seismic upgrades, a release reads. A major feature of the redesign incorporates a flexible, demountable interior wall system to create large workspaces as well as individual offices to serve specific needs.
The electrical and mechanical systems were upgraded to modern energy standards, which included energy-efficient variable refrigerant flow HVAC units, LED lighting and low water volume plumbing.
The $9.5-million building at the Queenswood campus was supported by the provincial and federal governments with $3.5 million from the Government of Canada’s Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund, $850,000 from the Government of British Columbia and $5.15 million from UVic.
The Queenswood location now houses Ocean Networks Canada, which is an initiative of UVic and includes sensor cables on the ocean floor to gather data and develop earthquake and tsunami, as well as whale collision-avoidance, alerts.
The new World Data System International Technology Office, which manages, connects and co-ordinates information, is located in the new complex, the release explains.
“We are thankful to the federal and provincial governments for their support of UVic’s leadership in oceans and climate research, and one of the highest concentrations of researchers who are deepening the world’s knowledge about the interconnectivity of oceans and climate for a sustainable future,” said UVic president Jamie Cassels.