BCIT North Campus project wins Envision gold

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

The North Campus Infrastructure Project at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) in Burnaby has won an Envision Gold award for sustainable infrastructure.

To reach gold status, a project must demonstrate that it delivers a heightened range of environmental, social, and economic benefits to the host and affected communities.

“BCIT is the first educational institution in Canada to have the sustainability of one of its infrastructure projects validated through a rigorous, third-party process against the Envision framework,” says Melissa Peneycad, ISI’s acting managing director. “I hope the success of this project will encourage other educational institutions to follow suit in planning, designing, and delivering more sustainable and resilient infrastructure.”

Project context and scope

Funded by the Province of British Columbia, the Government of Canada Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund, and BCIT, the North Campus Infrastructure project provides a critical upgrade to the campus’ electrical infrastructure. Electrical power at the Burnaby Campus is currently provided through two on-campus high-voltage (HV) receiving stations called Goard Way and Canada Way, which are connected to the 12.5 kV HV service provided by BC Hydro.

In 2015, BCIT had the condition of all its underground utilities for the Burnaby Campus assessed. The goal of the assessment was to help BCIT better understand the condition of each utility and plan maintenance and infrastructure investments accordingly. The condition assessment revealed that the Canada Way receiving station on the north side of campus and its associated electrical infrastructure was at critical risk of failure.

As this critical infrastructure approaches or exceeds its useful life, replacement components have been difficult to come by, necessitating a system replacement. Any disruption to the electrical service at BCIT would have a significant impact on campus operations, such as the temporary closure of educational programming. As such, BCIT made the replacement of the Canada Way receiving station and associated electrical infrastructure one of its highest priorities.

The primary objective of the $46.9 million North Campus Infrastructure Project is to improve the resiliency and reliability of the electrical infrastructure on the north side of the Burnaby Campus. The project includes constructing a new power receiving substation to replace the aging Canada Way receiving substation which powers about 50 per cent of the campus, including all of the campus’ trades-based educational programs.

The project also includes replacing 11 substations and all related infrastructure and establishing a new BC Hydro connection at the corner of Carey Ave and Canada Way. The new electrical backbone infrastructure on the north side of campus will encompass three major electrical services: high voltage (HV -12.5/25kV); low voltage (LV – below 750V); and a telecommunications, control, and safety service. The project also includes a number of enhancements and additions to public space.

“The continuous community engagement throughout the North Campus Infrastructure Project has allowed BCIT to fully understand the needs of its community and to guide development and renewal opportunities that provide long-term benefits. This award further recognizes BCIT for its strong commitment and leadership in sustainability,” said Kathy Kinloch, president of BCIT.

BCIT worked in close collaboration with Stantec, PCL Constructors Westcoast, R.R. Binnie & Associates and PFS Studio to deliver this award-winning sustainable project.

“Achieving Envision Gold certification is a result of the collaborative efforts of our partners, spanning across disciplines and organizations, all who are dedicated to the successful delivery of this innovative, and sustainable project at BCIT,“ says Quin MacKenzie, sustainable design lead, Stantec. “Stantec is dedicated to supporting our clients’ sustainability and resiliency goals, and together we have designed a project that will set the foundation for continuing campus development well into the future.”

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