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Science & Technology | Prairies

Semiarid Prairie Agricultural Research Centre

Swift Current, Saskatchewan

The Semiarid Prairie Agricultural Research Centre (SPARC) conducts major agricultural research on the dryland regions of Canada’s prairies for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. The goal of the redevelopment project was to enable the facility to better meet research mandates, and provide modern work areas for safe and innovative science. The project involved renovation and rebuilding of selected outdated research and core service areas on the campus. It also increases the efficiency of the facility as a whole, both spatially and operationally, focusing on the following areas: renovated main Administration Building laboratory and office areas; expanded Headerhouse; new Phytotron area for growth cabinets and growth chambers; retention of existing Conference Centre wing, integrated into the new design; demolition of two existing greenhouses.

An initial option analysis phase involved a summary of a value-based process utilized for rating and analyzing various construction options. It included a scientific functional program, ‘block’ schematic plans, and construction options analysis including a preliminary cost estimate.

Through redefining and readdressing key functional areas, the project enhances scientific workspaces while ensuring AAFC’s ability to safety and efficiently manage current and projected workflows. The new facilities provide adequate and contemporary laboratories, offices and support spaces to deal with future program work, and helps AAFC to improve research efficiencies and address both legislative and health and safety related deficiencies.

The laboratories are designed for Plant and Pest Containment (Levels: Basic and 1) in keeping with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s Containment Standard for Facilities Handling Plant Pests.