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Centre for Structural and Functional Genomics

The Centre for Structural and Functional Genomics (CSFG) was officially inaugurated in November 2011 as part of the celebrations marking the 6th year of Montreal’s designation as a UNESCO City of Design.

CSFG’s design reflects the city’s architectural innovation with an open concept that allows natural light to stream into nearly every corner of the new building. Even the partially dug-out basement receives daylight through an innovative glass-sided staircase along with the large windows and glassed walls in the offices lining the building’s perimeter. The open concept promotes the centre’s intrinsic values of inclusiveness, co-operation and interdisciplinarity. The architecture serves as a model for the future construction of research and laboratory facilities.

Located at the corner of Sherbrooke St. W. and West Broadway, CSFG is among new structures revitalizing the Loyola campus, and invigorating the urban landscape in the surrounding Notre-Dame-de-Grâce neighbourhood.

CSFG has four floors – 5,400 sq. metres – dedicated to research facilities. The building is connected to the adjacent Richard J. Renaud Science Complex (SP) through passageways on the second and third floors, as well as a tunnel on the basement level. A tunnel also links CSFG with the Communication Studies/Journalism (CJ) building. This underground network saves students and faculty time and trouble, especially during winter months.


LEED qualities

The building has qualified for silver certification under the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program with features such as:

  • A building design that minimizes heat pockets, reducing the need for cooling during warmer weather
  • Shower facilities that encourage students, faculty and staff to walk, jog or cycle to work knowing they have a place to freshen up once they arrive on campus
  • A conservational landscaping design that reduces the use of tap water by funnelling rainwater to irrigate trees and bushes
  • Low-flow plumbing that reduces water use by 30 per cent
  • A fully optimized mechanical system that uses 57 per cent less energy than a regular building, resulting in a 49-per-cent saving in energy costs and producing a significantly smaller environmental footprint by means of:
    • resourceful isolating/partitioning of building areas
    • an air-quality analyzer to adjust ventilation as required
    • heat recovery from air exhausts to pre-heat ventilation air
    • recapture of internal heat gains for further heating purposes
    • a highly efficient boil system

The building was completed under budget, with the original estimated cost being at close to $29 million.


Community connection

Montreal sculptor Marie-France Brière conceptualized the centre’s outdoor art titled, Figures en lisière (2011). Her rendition of the Earth’s interior combines African black granite, Georgian white marble and stainless steel. The inspiration came from a photograph that Brière saw of the layers carved by hand and machines at a granite quarry in Stanstead, Que. The sculpted layers of Figures en lisière pay homage to the scientific unearthing that occurs at CSFG. The public art was placed in a prominent location facing Sherbrooke Street West to connect the community with the explorations into natural science occurring at the centre. The public art represents one per cent of the project’s total cost.

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