Cambrian College’s Xstrata Nickel Sustainable Energy Centre (SEC) has received its LEED Gold certification.
According to Cambrian’s research, only other project in Greater Sudbury that has earned LEED Gold certification is Xstrata’s Nickel Rim South office/dry complex, which Xstrata says is Canada’s first LEED certified pre-fab building.
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The certification is granted through the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC), which administers a third-party certification program based on internationally- accepted benchmarks for the design, construction and operation of high- performance green buildings.
“Cambrian’s SEC began with a vision and then an ambitious plan to build a centre for students and faculty that would inspire innovation, and support our green energy programs,” said Cambrian College president Sylvia Barnard.
“What we have achieved is truly remarkable. The SEC is now a hub for 30 applied research projects that are underway or in various stages of development and home to our Energy Systems Technology and Environmental Monitoring and Impact Assessment programs. It’s an important new addition to our campus.”
Cambrian’s Director of Planning and Research, Sherrill McCall, said that every aspect of the process, from site selection to the choice of paint and furniture had to meet LEED standards for sustainability.
“Working with LEED experts was educational in its own right, and now we have a building that continues to teach us, because working in here is like being inside a living laboratory – the SEC monitors its own performance, and makes system adjustments for peak efficiency,” explained McCall. “In addition, our students can see how it works, which exposes them to LEED fundamentals first-hand.”
LEED Gold buildings are scored in six key areas, including sustainable site development, water efficiency, energy efficiency, material selection, indoor environmental quality, and innovation in design. The SEC scored very high in both water efficiency and indoor environmental quality, making it a healthy place to learn and work while minimizing its impact on the environment.
“Congratulations to Cambrian College on achieving a LEED Gold certification,” said CaGBC president and CEO Thomas Mueller.
“Educating students about the importance of energy efficiency and environmental assessment, while providing them with a green and healthy learning environment, is critical in inspiring them to work toward a sustainable future.”
Xstrata Nickel, Cambrian’s partner in the project, contributed $2 million to the construction of the SEC. The College also received support from FedNor and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) to build the Centre.
Cambrian’s SEC is connected to its main campus building on Barrydowne Road. It officially opened on Jan. 31, 2012.