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New $47-million interdisciplinary research facility unveiled

Western’s new $47-million state-of-the-art research facility, the Western Interdisciplinary Research Building (WIRB), officially opened in April. It will house the Brain and Mind Institute, BrainsCAN and the Rotman Institute of Philosophy, as well as dry laboratories, teaching and research space and a public plaza.

The Western Interdisciplinary Research Building officially opened on April 13, 2018
The Western Interdisciplinary Research Building officially opened on April 13, 2018

“Western recognizes many of the significant problems facing humanity today are enormously complex, and the greatest advances made in solving them often emerge at the boundaries and intersection of traditional disciplines,” said Western President Amit Chakma. “Our response to this reality has been to promote collaboration and to build operational capacity for interdisciplinary research through a series of strategic investments in selective areas of excellence. WIRB will generate an extraordinary return on those investments by providing the infrastructure we need to conduct truly world-class research and scholarship across multiple disciplines.”

A significant percentage of building costs for Western’s newest signature seven-storey structure is supported by the Federal Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund (SIF). With the SIF program support, WIRB was upgraded from LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) silver designation to LEED gold. LEED is a rating system that is recognized as the international mark of excellence for green buildings in more than 160 countries.

WIRB, with a total gross area of 118,000 sq. ft., is located adjacent to the John Labatt Visual Arts Centre.

This article appeared in the Fall 2018 edition of Alumni Gazette
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