Government investment supports new Trades and Innovation Centre

Government investment supports new Trades and Innovation Centre

“We see the new centre as a place where ideas can come to life – students can meet with business employers, solve problems, and prototypes can be built.” - David Freckelton, Principal, Pictou Campus

“A place for innovation, collaboration and realizing entrepreneurial ideas. It’s where we hope some of the magic is going to happen,” says Pictou Campus Principal David Freckelton of the new Trades Innovation Centre.  

The new development, now under construction at Pictou Campus, is a result of the $15.2 million Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund (SIF), a federal and provincial investment that supports projects which modernize post-secondary research facilities and improves their sustainability.

The Pictou Trades Innovation Centre is one project out of the three investments granted to NSCC through SIF.  

Innovative in design and delivery

Aligned with the College’s mission – building Nova Scotia's economy and quality of life through education and innovation – the Centre will act as a hub for innovation, specialized trades and applied research in Pictou County and the surrounding area. The building will feature an innovation project space and shared state-of-the-art shop spaces.

“At NSCC, we have a responsibility to provide entrepreneurial and innovative learning experiences and opportunities,” says Freckelton. “We see the new centre as a place where ideas can come to life – students can meet with business employers, solve problems, and prototypes can be built.”

Larger shop spaces will help to solve current wait-listing and spacing challenges in the existing campus. The Automotive Service & Repair and Heavy Duty Equipment Repair/Truck & Transport programs will share one shop space while the Carpentry and Cabinetmaking programs will share the other.

“This is an innovative approach to learning,” says Freckelton. “Students will benefit from gaining valuable, cross-over skills from the different trades due to the physical ability to collaborate on projects together.”

Sustainable from the ground up

“One of the many things that makes this building special is the sustainable design,” says Mike Chapman, Manager of Infrastructure, Sustainability and Space. “We want to make a showcase out of the building’s renewable features.”

The centre is designed following LEED Gold building standards with sustainable features that include natural light from a south-facing wall which will also passively collect energy from the sun to supplement the HVAC system, solar hot water and an in-ground heating system, locally-sourced and recycled low-emitting building materials and an electric car charging station.

Chapman says students will have the opportunity to learn about the building’s geothermal heating and cooling system by exposing and colour-coding pipes typically hidden from view. “There will also be a safe area on the roof where students can access solar panels and live displays throughout the building showing real time how much energy the building is using.”

With construction well underway, the Trades Innovation Centre is scheduled to open in September 2017. The two additional projects funded under the SIF program include the new Centre for Oceans Ventures and Entrepreneurship (COVE) in Dartmouth, and an exterior wall structure replacement to improve energy efficiency at Lunenburg Campus.

02/02/17

“We see the new centre as a place where ideas can come to life – students can meet with business employers, solve problems, and prototypes can be built.” - David Freckelton, Principal, Pictou Campus

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