The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) recently awarded Okanagan College its second LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design) Platinum certification, this time for its new trades building in Kelowna.
LEED Platinum certification is the highest certification level awarded for green building. For a building to achieve Platinum-level certification, it must demonstrate a variety of green building initiatives, such as incorporating sustainable building materials in its construction, demonstrating water and energy-efficiency and providing recycling programs for building occupants, to name a few.
“You don’t have to look hard to find advances in sustainability across all the trades, from automotive to welding, so in expanding and re-invigorating our Kelowna trades training facilities, we set out to provide our students and employees with a world-class learning environment that would celebrate them, their chosen career paths and the future of the trades,” said Jim Hamilton, president of Okanagan College, in a press release. “Our institution has a reputation as a leader in sustainable building. We are proud of being able to raise the bar in sustainability and wouldn’t have been able to create spaces such as this without the help of forward-thinking builders like PCL (PCL Constructors Westcoast Ltd.), our industry partners, and the incredible community support and donations that made the project possible.”
The provincial government provided $28 million towards the $35-million, 10,000-square-metre Trades Complex project, which required new construction and extensive upgrades to existing facilities. The new building accounts for approximately 5,200 square metres of the overall project.
“We’ve had feedback from many people who have taken tours and asked about how we were able to incorporate certain technologies and sustainability features, and what it meant for the training environment,” added Steve Moores, Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship at the College. “One of the other benefits of the building is that has already proved itself as a wonderful model for others in terms of what can be achieved.”
Okanagan College is now home to two of the 14 Canadian post-secondary buildings that have earned LEED Platinum certification. The College’s first Platinum certification was awarded to the Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence at the college’s Penticton campus.