TASC2 open for business

November 16, 2006, volume 37, no.6
By Barry Shell

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SFU's newest building has five kinds of running water on tap: hot, cold, reverse osmosis, deionized and chilled. The chilled water at the Technology and Science Complex 2 (TASC2), which opened last month, is for cooling room air and scientific equipment.

“This is one of the most complicated building projects ever undertaken in British Columbia, if not Canada,” says Phil Ferreira, facility coordinator for the project. Complex systems range from vibration-free floating rooms for ultra-high resolution microscopes and lasers to a huge clean room for creating advanced materials, an environmental toxicology lab and a fully equipped recording studio, to name just a few.

With a net floor area of 85,030 sq. ft. (7,900 m2) the building houses the new 4-D Labs research centre for advanced materials and nanoscale devices; MITACS (mathematics of information technology and complex systems); PIMS (Pacific institute for the mathematical sciences); and specialized labs and offices for seven schools and departments including kinesiology, resource and environmental management (REM), communication, physics, mathematics, chemistry and health sciences. The dean's office for the faculty of applied sciences is also there.

Bridges connect TASC2 with the Shrum and South Science buildings.

TASC2 is full of energy- and water-conserving technologies such as compressed-air venturi-style vacuums for chemistry experiments that eliminate the need for water-wasting aspirators. In addition, high-efficiency fume hoods extract heat from exhaust air and modern faucets and toilets reduce water use.

In common areas, video projectors can be hung for public screenings. Natural light, wood paneling and spectacular south-facing views of Burnaby all contribute to the building's desirable work environment. Outside, landscaping boulders and plantings represent a glacial escarpment with a dry stream bed.

Lee Gavel, campus planning and development director, says TASC2 presents a new public face for SFU. “The building is now our major southern entrance,” he says. “It has nice social spaces for faculty and students to meet and talk.”

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