Green Centers Go Biocoastal In Canada

Last year, we reported that the University of British Columbia had opened “the world’s greenest building” in its Center for Interactive Research on Sustainability. Now – perhaps in an effort to keep up with green education on Canada’s left coast – Cape Breton University in Nova Scotia is celebrating the opening of its new Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment (CSEE).

The $31.7 million green building was envisioned as a facility to demonstrate appreciation for the natural Cape Breton environment and its unique cultural and industrial legacy, as well as create to opportunities in the field of energy and sustainability based on the search for clean energy solutions and technology through research and partnerships with business, government and the broader community.

Cape Breton University Center for Sustainability in Energy and Environment

image via Cape Breton University

The 35,000-square-foot building features a plethora of renewable energy technologies, including solar panels, a geothermal system and wind turbines. These, coupled with the energy efficiency of the building’s design, result in energy savings of around 50 percent compared to a conventionally constructed building of similar size and function (a significant accomplishment, considering how far north the building is located). The CSEE is home to a number of labs, collaborative work areas, a 144-seat lecture theatre and areas for research chairs at Cape Breton University to conduct their projects in “ideal development circumstances.”

About those research chairs: In conjunction with the opening of the center, Tom Digan, president and general manager of Lockheed Martin Canada, said, in a statement, “Lockheed Martin is pleased to be expanding our relationship with the Cape Breton University by becoming the first Chair in Renewable Energy at the Center for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment.” He went on to note that Nova Scotia offers great potential for technology development across a variety of solutions, and that the CSEE demonstrates the university’s commitment to pursuing those advancements.

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Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.