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Vale opens spacious North Atlantic ops centre in Sudbury

Designed flexible space adds in social distancing safety protocols, company says

Sudbury miner Vale provided a virtual tour of its completed North Atlantic Operation Centre (NAOC) building project in Copper Cliff.

The innovative and flexible space will serve as the physical and virtual hub of its North Atlantic operations.

Located in the former engineering building on Power Street, Vale Canada CEO Mark Travers said this was an innovative way to better use of an important space in company history.

“Its fresh and open design promotes creativity, collaboration and integration – and supports the need to think and work in a more sustainable way to advance our transformation journey," he said in a Sept. 4 Vale news release.

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The release said the Sudbury architecture firm behind the project was inspired by a city layout in developing the design, with “streets” connecting different work zones or “neighbourhoods” flanked by meeting rooms that act as sound barriers to the open concept work stations within. The “streets” organize different departments and serve as a way-finding grid-like tool to staff and visitors to navigate through the space.

The meeting rooms use an identification system that borrows the names of trees and shrubs native to Vale’s North American and Brazilian operating regions.

The company said flexibility was built into the design which provided an unanticipated benefit in being able reconfigure space to address COVID-19 pandemic safety protocols.

“We are taking a staged approach (to opening the space) so that effective pandemic processes and controls are implemented to ensure employee safety and well-being,” said Dino Otranto, chief operating officer for Vale's North Atlantic Operations in a statement.