Hatch Centre at McMaster to foster hands-on learning about energy
A new engineering laboratory has broken ground at McMaster University that is to be named after the founder of Hatch.
The $11-million Gerald Hatch Centre for Engineering Experiential Learning is a 28,000 sq. ft., three-storey structure on the Hamilton, Ontario campus. Intended to be a “hub” for engineering collaboration and hands-on learning, the building will include studios and workspaces for engineering clubs, as well as a lounge and offices for student services and the Associate Dean of Engineering.
The centre will also house a research facility for the Integrated Building Energy Harvesting (ReFIBES) department. McMaster researcher Jim Cotton has received a $2 million grant from the Canada Foundation for Innovation to outfit the facility as a hands-on laboratory for studying green energy. The building will have a geothermal field, and will collect and analyze energy from a variety of sources, including a photovoltaic array, and a combined heat and power unit.
Hatch donated $2 million towards the building project, and the company’s employees also contributed funds which the company matched for an additional $1 million.
Building completion is expected to be in early 2017.
Ishwar Puri, McMaster’s Dean of Engineering, said the project is a “very significant milestone for the students of McMaster Engineering. The vision for the Hatch Centre unites a sustainable building with enriched programming. Both have been designed to enhance the experiential learning of our students and to inspire them to become engaged citizen scholars who will transform the world.”
Diamond Schmitt are the architects of the LEED silver building. WSP are structural engineers, Integral Group are mechanical-electrical engineers, and MMM Group are civil engineers. GSP Group is the landscape architect and SpecTech consulting is responsible for IT and audio-visual.
Hatch also recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario aimed at enhancing educational opportunities for students.