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Challenging times for space

From mid-2020 to mid-2021, when academic units were still operating remotely, Facilities Management members were easy to spot on the campuses. They were maintaining and adapting Concordia’s numerous and diverse spaces to the pandemic reality. That involved everything from reimagining spaces for socially distanced activities to new cleaning protocols and frequencies — including earning a Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) STAR accreditation for the EV Building.

“That process was a rigorous one and came at a time when custodial teams were already incredibly busy with the demands of COVID-related cleaning,” says Marie-Claude Lavoie, associate vice-president of Facilities Management.

To further protect community members and allow more of them to return to safe work and research spaces, Facilities Management undertook hundreds of evaluations with colleagues in Environmental Health and Safety (EHS).

“Public health requirements kept evolving so we had to redo and reinstall signage across our many buildings,” she reports.

Aside from assessing the distancing requirements of shared spaces, teams worked diligently on the cleaning and inspection of HVAC systems.

“Though it was complex work, we wanted to ensure high air quality and good ventilation of our indoor spaces.’’

Other major maintenance work included the replacement of roof assemblies on several buildings, masonry on the façade of the beautiful old TD Building and the full renovation of Hall 6.

Full floors of new spaces

Despite the obstacles, Facilities Management successfully delivered numerous projects . In spring 2021, the Next-Generation Cities Institute moved into a fully redesigned space at the top of the ER Building. Hall 6 followed in the summer while work on the FB basement levels intensified.

“We rebuilt the parking basement slab and other structural elements creating a base for six new classrooms and 150 seats worth of study area,” Lavoie says.

Work previously undertaken on Hall 10 was completed in mid-2021 through the construction of new research laboratories, including a living lab to study building performance, an aerospace lab and drone zone, and a new Chemical and Materials Engineering Labs.

On Loyola Campus, a second new building was delivered in as many years. On the northeast flank of the new Applied Science Hub now stands an unusual building, constructed to be altered. The Future Buildings Lab will see its cladding and heating systems tested and changed over the coming years.

“We partnered with Gina Cody School researchers, EHS and external architects on a facility that will produce data on how to make buildings more sustainable and efficient.”

On campus and remotely, Facilities Management had a very busy 2020-2021:

“We managed an incredible amount over the last year. It’s a credit to all our teams!" 

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