Curricular activity

One of the first projects of its type to target the Living Building Challenge also forms part of teaching curriculum

by James 29 December 2012 Sustainable Buildings
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    The Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation was conceived to meet the urgent need for tradespeople, site managers and construction workers who are skilled in the practices of sustainable building. It is also designed to be one of the most innovative and advanced sustainable facilities in the world, designed to the standards of the Living Building Challenge, the most rigorous sustainability program on the planet.

    CEI successfully lead the project using their design charrette to kick-start the design process and get support and contributions from a diverse group of stakeholders. The integrated design team recognised that achieving a facility with net-zero energy and water consumption, as required for Living Building certification, requires a three-pronged approach to energy and water use: conserve, capture and create. Additionally, the design had to be highly adaptable, so as time passes, new technologies can easily replace old, ensuring relevance and currency with the changing curriculum.

    The most exhilarating aspect of the Centre of Excellence is that the building itself is used extensively as part of the teaching curriculum. The design allows most aspects of the building and its systems to be accessible and demonstrable, and live building data is available to learn from. To encourage conservation and behavioural adaptation, energy use is metered at each classroom, workshop, office and other areas. Real-time energy usage is demonstrated in each space using a full LED display showing comprehensive data.

    The Centre of Excellence is a living experiment in sustainable innovation, and a testament to the power of integrated design. We hope the lessons learned from its design, construction and ongoing operations will educate students and inspire other communities to follow suit, resulting in a building that lives up to its name.

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