PENTICTON - Okanagan College's newest building - a world-class teaching and applied research facility dedicated to sustainable building technologies - officially opened its doors today.
The Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation exemplifies sustainability inside and out, and will become a leader in education and applied research into sustainable building practices in B.C.
The new centre was constructed with an investment of more than $22.65 million from the provincial and federal governments under the Knowledge Infrastructure Program and a generous donation of $5 million from community and industry donors, including $2.5 million from the Jim Pattison Foundation.
"Our main focus as a government is the BC Jobs Plan and ensuring we're creating an environment that supports good jobs for families," said Premier Christy Clark. "The new Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence offers a world-class facility that helps us meet the demand for skilled workers in British Columbia."
"Our government's investment in post-secondary infrastructure has given Okanagan College's students and researchers the facilities they need to be global leaders in their fields," said Okanagan - Coquihalla MP Dan Albas. "This project will allow Okanagan College to strengthen its capacity and build on its reputation as a leading institution of higher learning."
"This centre and the work and training that occurs here will have an important impact on the development of clean, renewable energy solutions and green building technologies for the future - not only in B.C., but across Canada and around the globe," said Minister of Advanced Education Naomi Yamamoto.
The centre is one of the world's greenest buildings. It was created to train trades people, site managers and construction workers skilled in sustainable building practices. It is also designed to be one of most innovative and advanced sustainable facilities in the world, living up to the standards of the Living Building Challenge - the most rigorous sustainability program in the world.
"The Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence not only places B.C. and Okanagan College at the forefront of sustainable construction training," said Jim Hamilton, president of Okanagan College, "it also contains an incubation centre to support entrepreneurs as they conduct applied research and ultimately take their product to the market, creating skilled jobs and regional economic development."
This facility was among 39 projects at post-secondary institutions across the province that were part of the Knowledge Infrastructure Program, a joint federal-provincial investment designed to repair and expand research and educational facilities at post-secondary institutions across B.C. while also providing local jobs for communities.
The Knowledge Infrastructure Program is helping to provide economic stimulus and promote employment by creating jobs for engineers, architects, tradespeople and technicians. In B.C. the federal government is providing up to 50 per cent of the cost of selected projects on a cost-share basis with the Province. The total investment in these projects is over $520 million including contributions from institutions.
- The building is ventilated and cooled using the natural flow of air across cool concrete floors and exhausted through solar chimneys; windows feature a green light/red light system to indicate when they can be opened to maximize cooling.
- 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 in the Okanagan and FSC-certified lumber sourced from B.C.
- All of the building's mechanical and electrical services are exposed, where possible, to demonstrate the technology used. This is part of the building's teaching and "living lab" capability.
- The building is expected to use 65 kilowatt-hours of energy per square metre per year. A typical building of similar size and construction would use approximately 250 kilowatt-hours per square metre per year, making this building one of the most energy efficient in North America.
- Accelerate Okanagan, a not-for-profit organization, operates a business incubation centre in the building, designed to help start-ups take their product or service from concept to market.
- The building aspires to be the first of its type to achieve the Living Building Challenge, the very highest standard for sustainable construction, which requires proof of true carbon neutrality.
Okanagan College: http://www.okanagan.bc.ca
Living Building Challenge: https://ilbi.org/lbc
Knowledge Infrastructure Program: http://ic.gc.ca/knowledge-infrastructure
Ministry of Advanced Education
Special Assistant (Communications)
Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
Minister of State (Science and Technology)