Compugen opens its new offices in North Toronto

You have to hand to Harry Zarek, the CEO of Compugen. Last year on a dirt field in Richmond Hill, Ont., a northern suburb of Toronto, Zarek confidently said to a small gathering of vendor partners, distributors, customers and media that within a year Compugen would have a new home with state of the art technology labs, space for 850 people and their cars, that was environmental friendly.

A year later Zarek has made it happen despite a poor economy, one of his major financiers pulling out at the last minute and several permit hold ups at the City of Richmond Hill.

When asked by CDN how he was able to pull this off Zarek gave all the credit to his team, naming individuals such as Lee Perry and to his partners Urbacon Ltd., who designed and build the three-story 120,000 square foot structure. “I didn’t do much,” he said.

The new Compugen headquarters will sport a 10GB backbone network with 802.11n wireless capability inside a larger data centre with redundant power and cooling. The company also dramatically reshaped its printing system by creating pass-card protected print centres and file centres that reduce waste, strengthen privacy and lower cost.

Compugen also built its new home with the environment in mind. The exterior of the building captures rainwater and plants used for landscaping are drought resistant.

Inside, lighting costs are reduced by 40 per cent by large windows that produce so much natural light. Electronic sensors have been installed to reduce the use of electricity. And more than 70 per cent of the office workstations have access to natural light. Water consumption will be reduced by up to 60 per cent through the use of low-flow toilets, auto-on sinks and urinals. The captured rainwater will replace treated water for landscape use.

Zarek also provided for his staff with better acoustics, air flow and natural light along with more conference and meeting rooms. There are several private rooms for individuals to conduct personal matters. Compugen now has a bigger staff cafeteria with low price meals. Zarek wants his staff to eat lunch inside the cafeteria and not at their desk so that they can better communicate with other staff members.

And maybe the most important thing of all free is Tim Horton’s or Starbucks coffee for all employees. Perry said that the first coffee machine broke down because it could only make 175 cups of coffee, so Zarek purchased two more machines.

Follow Paolo Del Nibletto on Twitter: @PaoloCDN.

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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