October 2019

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OCTOBER 2019 | 63 Smartpark Innovation Hub – University of Manitoba PHOTOGRAPHY + RENDERING COURTESY CIBINEL ARCHITECTURE LTD. Smartpark Innovation Hub – University of Manitoba by LAURA WALKER F ulfilling the vision of creating a com- munity of innovators, the University of Manitoba's Smartpark offers developed spaces for lease to research and technology companies and other organizations that comple- ment the University's academic and research missions. Smartpark's latest addition, known as the Innovation Hub, is a venue to bring together established tenants of the park, as well as members of the University, start-up companies, the City of Winnipeg and Manitoba's technol- ogy and science industry. The Smartpark Innovation Hub project was conceived several years ago, says Andrew Konowalchuk, associate VP (administration) at the University of Manitoba. "It became evident as Smartpark grew, with its exceptional group of company leaders in their industries, that it required a building dedicated to foster collabora- tive innovation." Supported by the Federal Post- Secondary Strategic Investment Fund, the project facilitates the expansion of Smartpark from 18 to 30 tenants, and is intended to reinforce tenants' tal- ent acquisition efforts and student and researcher retention. "The project site was carefully selected at the epicentre of the Park," explains Konowalchuk. "The two core design principles were: gathering spaces for a destination to encourage interaction and to foster the community of innovators; and commercialization spaces to improve the scale and quality of facilities for research and innovation for use by start-ups and tenants." While aluminum composite pan- els are featured, more than 75 per cent of the building's exterior is tri- ple-pane glass, offering an impressive glazed facade that extends from grade up four floors. "The design is unique for office buildings at the University of Manitoba," says Aloke Rajbhandary of Bird Construction Group. "It is an open design, and encourages inter- action between communities in the technology and research park and the University campus. Visitors are welcomed by a gener- ous landscaped sidewalk and a striking two-storey recessed volume and vesti- bule at the south main entrance, with a continuous two-storey gallery atrium awaiting inside. The open main floor offers a full-service food and lounge area, multi- purpose rooms and tenant-specific lab space, while staircases at each end of the building and elevators at the core lead to upper floors with leasable office areas. "These areas provide flexibil- ity for modification, based on tenants' needs," says Rajbhandary. "Part of this flexibility comes from the raised floor system. The majority of parti- tion walls are demountable, which also allows some flexibility for modifica- tions." Diffusers and electrical outlets throughout the building also have flex- ible connections, notes Rajbhandary. Driven by a mandate to facilitate collaboration, the building's spaces encourage interaction with breakout areas and common spaces, says George Cibinel of Cibinel Architecture Ltd. He explains that the Innovation Hub pro- vides "the opportunity for people to change their environment through- out their day with a variety of spaces from which they can choose." Spaces include large and small formal meeting rooms, phone booth-style spaces for small meetings or individual work, and a shared conference centre with high- tech equipment. LOCATION 100 Innovation Drive, Winnipeg, Manitoba OWNER/DEVELOPER University of Manitoba ARCHITECT Cibinel Architecture Ltd. CONSTRUCTION MANAGER Bird Construction Group STRUCTURAL CONSULTANT Crosier Kilgour & Partners Ltd. MECHANICAL/ ELECTRICAL CONSULTANT MCW/AGE Consulting Professional Engineers GEOTECHNICAL CONSULTANT KGS Group LEED CONSULTANT Architecture49 Inc. LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT HTFC Planning & Design TOTAL SIZE 75,067 square feet TOTAL COST $36.5 million Other features of the building include an outdoor terrace and protected bike parking area connected to the main floor lounge, as well as gender-neutral washrooms and showers throughout. Cibinel describes a sense of vital- ity expressed throughout the interior's design. The transparency creates a connection to the exterior and allows natural light, workspaces feature an intermix of casual seating and cozy lounge furniture, and wood finishes in strategic locations provide warmth. Innovation was a driver for the design and construction of the build- ing, explains Konowalchuk. Not only was it built to target LEED Silver, with challenging goals set for building enve- lope design, low energy consumption, user comfort, design flexibility and reduced waste, but it is also notable as the first project in Manitoba to be registered under the very demanding LEED Version 4 (V4), he says. Rajbhandary adds that in order to meet the stringent LEED V4 require- ments, independents lab tests were performed on materials for required certification in cases where data of the products was not available. Another unique feature of the Innovation Hub, says Cibinel, is the fire staircase, designed to be visually connected to the interior commu- nity space and exterior through glazed walls, encouraging the use of stairs and enhancing personal safety by eliminating hidden public areas. According to Cibinel this special addi- tion required alternative measures to meet the life safety requirements of the Building Code. The building really fulfills the vision, says Konowalchuk. "Even before the building was completed and occupied, it became of focal point of Smartpark," he adds. "It is very rewarding for the University of Manitoba that feedback and satisfaction is very high among ten- ants and visitors." A 12:06 PM 11:15 AM

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