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Groundwater research facility at University of Guelph wins ‘outstanding project award’


November 8, 2021
By Morwick G360

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Rendering of the MGRC exterior. MGRC image

Guelph – The Morwick Groundwater Research Centre (MGRC) at the University of Guelph has won an “Outstanding Project Award” from Learning By Design, which recognizes exceptional educational spaces through its Architectural and Interior Design Awards of Excellence program.

The MGRC is a hub for groundwater studies that was designed by WalterFedy architects and built on the same footprint as the existing Bedrock Aquifer Field Facility.

The MGRC will be “a modern learning environment that exhibits many design attributes that others may emulate,”  the Learning By Design committee stated. In particular, the judges indicated that “the Net Zero Carbon approach is commendable, something for which the community can be grateful for, which benefits society as a whole. Preserving the existing barn is tremendously beneficial to the environment, as are the other measures indicated. Exposed structure becomes a theme and a point of continuity between program spaces. The building is appropriately scaled and reflects the nature of the earth-science focus.”

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The finished MGRC will be a multi-functional space and will house two classrooms that can become a larger room for conferences, and a two-story transparent groundwater well in which downhole instruments will be demonstrated. An on-site borehole into the underlying bedrock aquifer will provide a unique hands-on teaching tool, linking lectures to real-world demonstrations. In addition, a rock wall in the atrium will replicate the Silurian dolostone sequence and formation, typical of the local bedrock aquifer used by the City of Guelph for municipal, commercial, and industrial water supply.

The MRGC will also house a rock core library, enabling students and professionals to put their research methods to the test. All together, these features will make the MGRC a world-class facility for research, technology demonstration, education, and public outreach. Groundwater is a vital resource to Canadians and to communities across the globe, and the research carried out at the MGRC will help ensure its sustainable future.

For more information about the MRGC, click here.