Powered by solar and heated and cooled by geothermal systems, Okanagan College‘s new Centre of Excellence lives up to its title. This new building in British Columbia (B.C.) is a contender for Living Building Challenge qualification — a system that goes beyond LEED Platinum to require both net zero energy and water consumption.
The building will operate both as a setting for classes at Okanagan College as well as a showcase for green building systems and materials, particularly those originating in B.C. Other than a hardwood gymnasium floor (sourced from Ontario), the project features 100 per cent B.C. wood, including pine from beetle-kill affected forests FSC-certified lumber. Wherever possible, the building’s mechanical and electrical services have been left exposed to demonstrate the technology in action, as part of the building’s teaching capacity.
The Centre of Excellence features the a 258 kilowatt-capacity photovoltaic solar panel array, believed to be the largest in Western Canada. It was designed to use around a fifth of the energy consumed by a conventional building of similar size and reuses all of its waste and greywater onsite (after chemical-free treatment by the City of Penticon).
More information on the building’s green profile is available online.