The Richardson College for the Environment & Science Complex

Key Building Features

  • A model of green building technology, constructed to a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver Standard, is one of the most energy efficient educational laboratory buildings in North America. It uses approximately half the energy of a conventional building.

  • 150,000 square feet, adding 15 per cent to the built facilities of the UWinnipeg campus.

  • Total project cost is $66.58 million, which includes land and site costs, constructions costs, LEED Commissioning, furniture, equipment and project contingencies.

  • Designed by Number 10 Architects of Winnipeg, one of Canada’s leading green architectural firms, with construction by Manitoba’s Manshield Construction LP.   

  • Consists of more than 30 research and teaching labs, including a vivarium, and a 1,127 square foot rooftop greenhouse.  

  • The signature four-storey Atrium incorporates nine living trees (Amstel King Figs) and a 3,000 square foot wall of reclaimed hard maple from the Winnipeg Roller Rink previously on the site.

  • Extensive use of natural daylight with energy-efficient double glazed, argon-filled  windows and energy-efficient lighting.

  • Computer programmed three mode air flow system ventilates labs as required, controllable by occupants, resulting in significant energy saving. It captures approximately 80% of energy from the laboratory exhaust.

  • A heat recovery wheel, highly innovative and unique to Canada, cleans and filters lab air; warm air is re-circulated, resulting in significant energy savings.

  • Low flow water fixtures on taps and shower heads, dual flush toilets and waterless urinals, reduces water consumption.

  • In partnership with the Spence Neighbourhood Association, the Winnipeg Real Estate Board and Westminster Housing, four homes were relocated from the site to be used as in-fill housing for families in West Broadway and Spence neighbourhoods.

  • The Richardson Green Corridor, linking the Furby-Langside campus to UWinnipeg’s main campus, is an eco-friendly project that improves accessibility, creates new community green space, and in conjunction with the City of Winnipeg, upgrades an aging sewer system that will benefit neighbourhood residents as well as our campus. To be completed September 2011.

Key Building Uses and Community Benefits

  • Approximately 2,000 students use the building daily. Houses the University’s departments of Biology, Chemistry and Environmental Studies.

  • The third floor of the Richardson College for the Environment and Science Complex  houses the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Science Education and the Canada Research Chair in Inner City Issues and Community Learning and Engagement; the Institute of Urban Studies; the Master’s in Development Practice program; the Indigenous Studies program; the CISCO Centre for Collaborative Technologies which includes a world-class TelePresence system and the endowed Cisco Chair for Collaborative Technology; the University Sustainability Office; the University’s medical isotope initiative; and the UW Community Renewal Corporation. The laboratory of the Canada Research Chair in Environmental Toxicology will be on the ground floor of the building.

  • The facility houses our existing outstanding research endeavours and attract other top scholars to the university both as UWinnipeg colleagues and collaborators from other institutions. Key areas of specialty are: the global north, climate change, water stewardship, inner-city issues and research and public policy initiatives associated with sustainability.  

  • The facility also strengthens UWinnipeg’s commitment to community learning for inner-city and Aboriginal children and young adults. The building houses the new Digital Learning Lab, an innovative learning space designed to promote engaged learning, teach students applied media skills, and encourage students to complete grade 12 and pursue post-secondary education. The Digital Learning Lab is used by high school students from the University of Winnipeg Collegiate and Model School, and is open during the after school hours to all Manitoba high school students.

  • Diversity Foods operates a main floor, licensed restaurant serving students (including those on meal plans at McFeetors Hall residence) faculty, staff and the general public.

  • Teaching and research labs include:

    Ecology and Evolution of Animal Behaviour

    Aquatic Physiology and the Environment

    Trace-Metal Contaminants

    Water Research

    Vector Ecology and Control Training and Research

    Natural Products Antibiotic Discovery

    Comparative Genomics and Systems

    Plant Evolutionary Ecology

    Mammalian Ecology and Conservation

    Sustainable Inland Fisheries

    Organic Compound Discovery/Synthesis

    Insect Biochemistry and Cellular Metabolism

    Bio-Analytical Laboratory

    Animal Physiology

    Water Quality and Health

    Freshwater Ecology

    First Year Biology (2 labs)

    Cell Biology

    Plant Biology and Parasitology

    General Chemistry



     Anatomy and Physiology, Histology, Chordate Zoology  

    Ecology, Invertebrate Biol and Entomology  

    Quantitative Analytical Methods

    Environmental Analysis

    Materials Properties

    Inorganic Synthesis/Reactivity

    Organic Chemistry


    The George Tomlinson Laboratory for Advanced Biochemistry

Key Milestones

  • September 12, 2006 – Hartley Richardson, President & Chief Executive Officer, James Richardson & Sons Limited, announced lead gift totaling $3.5 million from the Richardson Firm, Family and Foundation to establish The Richardson College for the Environment and a green corridor at The University of Winnipeg.

  • November 16, 2006 – Manitoba Premier Gary Doer announced an unprecedented $25-million capital investment in the University to aid in construction of the Science Complex. In addition, the Province of Manitoba provided another $7 million in support for University labratories, plus up to $1.8 million to assist with operating and moving costs. 

  • July 2007 – The University acquired the land for the new Furby-Langside Campus.

  • October 20, 2008 – Board of Regents approved the first phase of the construction of the Richardson College for the Environment with the awarding of the tender for excavation and shoring contract.

  • November 13, 2008 – Inaugural groundbreaking for Richardson College for the Environment and Science Complex.

  • May 20, 2009 – The Government of Canada announces an historic $18,042,000 million infrastructure grant to support the project.

  • June 13, 2011 – Construction of the Richardson Green Corridor, linking the Furby-Langside campus to UWinnipeg’s main campus, gets underway. Sodding and paved pathway to be completed by September 2011.

  • June 27, 2011 – Grand Opening of the Richardson College for the Environment and Science Complex.