Monday, May 20, 2013

Photos of new CSE headquarters under construction

Over the past two years, amateur photographer Chuck Clark has taken a series of photos of CSE's new headquarters, the Long Term Accommodation Project (LTAP), as it has been under construction, creating a fascinating public record of the complex's development.

The first photo shows the construction site on 1 August 2011, a couple of months after work began at the site. The nearly complete building in the middle is CSE's high performance computing centre, constructed under the Mid-Term Accommodation Project and now called Pod 1 of the LTAP. Built ahead of the rest of the LTAP, this building was fully occupied by November 2011. CSE's parking garage can be seen at the bottom of the image. The white buildings at the right are temporary structures for the construction project. Construction has only just begun on the LTAP proper in this image. The office building at the top right is the neighbouring Canadian Security Intelligence Service headquarters.

Another photo taken on 1 August 2011. Early work on the foundations of CSE's data warehouse is clearly visible at top right.

The next photo was taken on 9 October 2011, around the time Pod 1 was occupied. Construction is now well underway on the rest of the LTAP, with multiple storeys starting to rise in some spots. A small supply warehouse can be seen under construction at the top left.

By 19 November 2011, major progress has been made on the main office buildings of the LTAP, most of which are now three storeys high.

The next image was taken on 7 January 2012. By this date, the main office buildings have mostly reached their final height. The data warehouse at the left is taking shape, and the supply warehouse already has a roof on it.

This image, taken on 23 June 2012, clearly shows Pod 1, the 6000-square-metre high performance computing centre. Two large backup power generators can be seen beside the building, with what may be space for another one in the future. (The space available for expansion is limited by the need to keep the loading dock door on the back wall of the building accessible to vehicle traffic.) To the right of Pod 1, the large roof that connects the LTAP office buildings and covers a large atrium area can be seen taking shape.

This view was also taken on 23 June 2012. The supply warehouse at the left appears to be complete, and the outer shell of the data warehouse (bottom centre) also appears to be largely complete. This suggests that some delays have occurred in the project's construction, as the original plan called for the data warehouse to be finished by May 2012. At top right can be seen the initial elements of the building that will control entry to the complex (and perhaps house other low-sensitivity conference and work spaces), which will eventually be connected to the other buildings in the complex by an enclosed walkway.

Taken two days later, on 25 June 2012, this photo also shows the progress that has been made on construction of the complex.

1 July 2012. The main roof continues to take shape, and roofing work is also underway on the data warehouse. Note the five large dual-cell cooling towers located to the right of the data warehouse.

Taken on 20 October 2012, this image shows the outside of the complex nearly complete. The building entrance is now connected to the rest of the LTAP.

18 November 2012. Another view of the nearly complete complex. The supply warehouse is clearly visible in the right foreground. This building may also have other functions.

This photo, taken on 5 January 2013, shows the outer cladding of the LTAP almost complete. Steam can be seen emanating from one of the cooling units on the roof of the high performance computing centre, which has been operational for more than a year by this date. The data warehouse (seen in foreground), originally scheduled for completion in May 2012, may also be operational by this time, although work on the roof appears still unfinished.

One of the cooling units on the roof of the high performance computing centre is also in operation in this photo, taken 21 April 2013. As can be seen, there appears to be room for a third unit in the rooftop enclosure, presumably to allow for future expansion. Meanwhile work continues on the main roof on the complex, which is shaped to resemble a maple key -- a reference to Canada's national tree and possibly also to the key as a symbol of cryptology. (CSE's badge features both a key and a maple leaf.)

Finally, this picture, also taken on 21 April 2013, clearly shows the large glass wall enclosing the atrium under the main roof. Although a great deal of interior work remains to be done to fit-up the building for occupation, it is now easy to imagine the complex as it will appear when complete, with the main roof finished, the temporary construction buildings removed, and the landscaping done. According to the original construction schedule, the main building exterior envelope is to be finished by August 2013, and all work, including final landscaping, is to be done by November 2014. CSE's move into the LTAP presumably will be completed sometime in 2014.

The actual complex has some minor variations in shape and appearance, but this architect's rendering of the LTAP shows approximately how the buildings will look when finished.

My sincere thanks to Chuck Clark for his gracious permission to reproduce his photographs on this blog.

[Update 20 May 2013: Added another photo taken 21 April 2013 and noted that the space for generators behind Pod 1 is more limited than I realized at first.]


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