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New research, teaching and collaboration spaces open at Concordia’s Gina Cody School

Engineering and computer science faculty and students gain access to additional living labs, study areas and more
September 20, 2021
A small cottage building with a grassy surrounding area.
New spaces include a drone zone in the Henry F. Hall Building and a Future Buildings Lab on Loyola Campus (pictured).

The Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science physically expanded this summer.

The Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering (CSSE) moved into new facilities in the ER Building. The university also created new lab spaces on the 10th floor of the Henry F. Hall Building. As for Loyola Campus, the new Future Buildings Laboratory began operations.

“These three projects were all so different from one another,” says Marie-Claude Lavoie, associate vice-president of Facilities Management.

“All our units had a role to play and managed excellent collaborations both with members of the Gina Cody School and external experts on everything from needs assessment to the construction of entirely new and modern facilities for learning, teaching and research.”

In good company

Concordia has occupied spaces in the ER Building off and on for more than 40 years, but over the course of 2020-21 it reintegrated the building to meet the needs of many growing departments. As of this fall term, the faculties of Arts and Science, Fine Arts and the Gina Cody School will all have a presence at 2155 Guy Street.

The first to move in, early in the summer, were the Next-Generation Cities Institute and the Urban Planning and Urban Studies program, both on the 14th floor. As of late August, they were joined by CSSE, which occupies floors nine through 12.

Lata Narayanan is chair of the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering. “Our new offices and research labs create an environment where students and professors will each have their own space to conduct cutting-edge research while being close to each other in order to encourage collaboration,” she explains.

“Since we collaborated in the floor design, we’re very happy to see it come to fruition.”

Collaborations: past, present and future

The new floors offer students, faculty and staff more space for classes, labs and collaboration.

“Each includes a number of brainstorm and meeting rooms, in addition to student and employee lounges and study areas,” says Isabelle Roy, facilities manager of renovation projects.

Collaboration also occurred in the planning, construction and delivery of the new spaces.

“We got tremendous support from colleagues in Instructional and Information Technology ServicesCampus Security and many other units. We really benefited from their expertise,” says Lavoie.

Meanwhile, back in the Hall Building…

While CSSE was busy moving into their new ER digs, the finishing touches were going into new Gina Cody School spaces on the 10th floor of the Hall Building. They include a new living lab, an aerospace lab, a drone zone and other experimental spaces for engineering students.

“The spaces are as technical in their requirements as many of those in the Applied Science Hub,” says Tammy Noseworthy, facilities project manager. “They required significant planning for fume hoods, controls systems for the living lab and acoustic consideration for workspaces.”

She adds that one of the aspects she loves most is the natural light and openness of the new spaces. “I think the architects did an amazing job.”

When they open in the coming weeks, the new labs will serve a particular need: high-tech facilities for undergraduate as well as grad students.

Little building, big future

Those familiar with the Loyola Campus might have followed the evolution of one of the university’s more discreet locations. Tucked behind the Hingston Hall Residence, next to the City Farm School’s perennial garden, used to stand the Solar House. Though it was still handy for equipment storage, the building reached the end of its research mandate.

“That provided an opportunity for a new facility. While staying within the same basic footprint, researchers with the Centre for Zero Energy Building Studies came up with an idea for a new living lab,” says Shawn Moss, facilities project manager.

“The Future Buildings Lab will expand our capacity to train the next generation of building and electrical engineers in the design and operation of new buildings.”

Concordia’s Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science’s webpages to learn more about and its many labs and programs.



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