Mohawk’s New Centre for Partnership & Innovation – The Joyce Centre

Mohawk College The Joyce Centre Perspective Hamilton Globe and Mail
The Joyce Centre is a one-of-a-kind building that puts Mohawk at the forefront of sustainability practice, innovation, applied research and learning in Canada.
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Mohawk College’s newly opened The Joyce Centre for Partnership & Innovation is a showcase of sustainability, technology, and leadership in education and is the result of a vision to be a leader in campus innovation.

The Joyce Centre also demonstrates Mohawk’s commitment to partnerships, industry collaborations and building the workforce of the future. Both The Joyce Centre itself, and the learning that goes on within it, will help the region, the province
and the country prepare for the future.

The emerging low-carbon economy has made a significant impact on how buildings are designed, built and operate. By 2050, Canada strives to meet the United Nations’ goal of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80 per cent from 1990 levels. Designers, developers and property owners are being challenged to do better when it comes to sustainable practices as nearly 40 per cent of GHG emissions are attributed to buildings.

“The Joyce Centre is a one-of-a-kind building that puts Mohawk at the forefront of sustainability practice, innovation, applied research and learning in Canada,” said Paul Armstrong, Vice President Academic.

“Inside that building, which is itself a model of the best in sustainable design and construction, is interdisciplinary research and inquiry that will disrupt and innovate in ways we can only imagine. Our graduates will maximize the power of data, collaborate with industry partners and develop technology and understanding that will change the way we construct buildings and inhabit them.”

What is truly unique is that the building, opened to its first group of students in September, is a living lab powering learning for students who will graduate with all the necessary, forward-ready skills needed in the new low-carbon economy.

“We are extremely proud of what The Joyce Centre for Partnership & Innovation represents,” said David Santi, Dean of Engineering Technology. “This is a building that stands for something— sustainability, net-zero energy and technology.”

Beyond its classrooms, labs and collaborative learning spaces, students have access to all seven storeys and all the systems that power the building— from the photovoltaic panels on the roof to the heat pump systems in the basement. Students monitor and analyze real-time data on energy production and consumption, undertake projects in which they operate and maintain the building, and will play an important role in fine-tuning and optimizing the building’s performance.

Throughout its lab and learning spaces, The Joyce Centre serves as a demonstration site for industry partners looking to develop, test and prototype zero-carbon technologies for commercial, industrial and residential buildings. Companies of all sizes work alongside students and faculty on applied research projects that deliver cutting-edge technology to regional industry partners and provide real-world experience to students.

“The Joyce Centre is a terrific opportunity for Mohawk College’s students, faculty
and industrial partners to work together in developing new technologies in low-carbon energy in a centre that is a one-of-a-kind living lab from its basement to its roof,” said Santi.

No other colleges in the province are tackling sustainability in engineering, design, and building trades on this scale, he said. Mohawk is developing provincial, national and international expertise in clean energy, smart buildings, battery storage, energy retrofits, and sustainable cities that will be catalyzed by The Joyce Centre.

“Mohawk will also be at the forefront of the development of new academic and research programs for the low-carbon and energy sectors by building and developing competencies in our engineering, skilled trades and design students.”

Mohawk is a respected leader in engineering and technology, digital health, energy, and sustainability, all of which is fully on display at The Joyce Centre.

The building houses a cutting-edge Digital Creativity Centre and labs specializing in digital health, avionics, renewable energy testing, sustainable design, energy and power management, physics and metrology, industrial automation, and cyber security. The labs are designed with flexibility in mind in order to accommodate collaboration with industry partners on projects of any size.

“The Joyce Centre provides first-class innovative spaces for applied research activities, along with access to inspired students, faculty experts and leading technologies that serve to de-risk business challenges,” said  Gina Funicelli, Dean of Applied Research.

“As well, The Partnering Studio is a welcoming, inspirational and collaborative space where stakeholders meet to brainstorm, co-create, facilitate, innovate, learn and partner.”  Mohawk was recently recognized as Canada’s most industry research intensive college by RE$EARCH Infosource. Among Canada’s top 50 research colleges, Mohawk finished first in both industry research income ($2.7 million) and industry research intensity (industry grants and contracts as a percentage of total research income).

The eight new and expanded labs at The Joyce Centre will only further strengthen Mohawk’s leadership in applied research.

“Our college is truly fortunate to be working with more than 1,000 partners, from startups and non-profits to mid-size companies and our region’s largest employers,” said Mohawk President Ron McKerlie. Those partners provide placements, co-ops and internships where students can apply their skills and gain invaluable experience, and at any one time, there are dozens of collaborations on applied research, capstone and community projects, he said.

“Our partners put our graduates to work, offering incredible career opportunities close to home, across the country and around
the world. Whatever the collaboration, we always look for opportunities that will benefit both our students and our partners.”

Mohawk College’s students, faculty, labs and facilities are critical partners to local business

and industry that want to develop
and commercialize technology, said Glen Norton, Director of Economic Development for the City of Hamilton.

“Innovation and education are the underpinnings of Hamilton’s position
in the Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster and The Joyce Centre for Partnership & Innovation will be a leader in research and development of new technologies in low-carbon energy and sustainability. The City of Hamilton is thrilled to see this world- class showpiece building open and begin contributing to the city’s standing as an Intelligent Community and an emerging leader in green technology.”

The Joyce Centre was designed and constructed in a compressed timeframe that perfectly illustrates Mohawk’s ability to collaborate with suppliers, architects, engineers, contractors and skilled trades from across the region. The project had both a financial budget and a very ambitious energy budget.

Every design choice in the building, including construction methods and materials and where they had to come from, was made to maximize energy efficiency and reduce carbon load.

Among its key regional partners on the project were: mcCallumSather, B+H Architects, EllisDon, RDH Building Science, Walters Group, Canadian Solar, Contract Glaziers, and Dema Woodwork.

The Joyce Centre is one of 16 pilot projects selected by the Canada Green Building Council’s new Zero Carbon Building Standard. It is the second building in the country to receive the Canada Green Building Council’s Zero Carbon Building- Design certification and won its 2017 Innovation in Sustainability Award.

It has also been awarded the 2018 Sustainable Project of the Year from the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association, the 2018 Environmental Sustainability Award from the Alectra Energy Evolution Summit, and most recently, an award from the 2018 Hamilton Burlington Society of Architects Awards / New Institutional Category.

The Joyce Centre is the latest result of Mohawk’s ongoing commitment to sustainability. It serves as a best practice model on sustainability for many post- secondary institutions across Canada. Mohawk was the first college in Ontario to implement a campus environmental management plan in 2011 and among the very first with a dedicated sustainability office, which hosts initiatives centred on transportation, energy, waste management, water conservation and local food.

The Joyce Centre is also home to the Centre for Climate Change Management, which fosters Mohawk’s expertise in education and applied research to drive action on climate change on a number of fronts across the region.