Put on your shades and grab a spade — it’s officially gardening season in Alberta.

You might be eager to get those seeds in the ground, but a little planning can go a long way in making your outdoor space more eco-friendly.

When it comes to creating “greener” yards, Hayley Puppato — project coordinator with  SAIT’s Green Building Technologies — is very passionate about effectively managing water while providing a beautiful space that promotes pollinators and enhances the native ecosystem. Working with homeowners Joleen and Gerton Molenaar, Puppato helped design the landscaping and urban agricultural plans for “The Confluence,” an award-winning home in southern Alberta set to become one of the most environmentally friendly in the world.

Luckily, you don’t have to live in one of the world’s most sustainable homes to start creating a sustainable yard. Check out Puppato’s tips for building an outdoor space you can feel good about nurturing over the coming months.

Plant more native and naturalized species

While planting an exotic species you’ve never seen before might seem like a good idea, native and naturalized plants are your best bet for keeping your gardening efforts more environmentally friendly.

Native plants (such as wild bergamot and black-eyed Susans in Alberta) are indigenous to an area, meaning they haven’t been introduced by human intervention.

Naturalized plants, on the other hand, are non-native species introduced to an area that have the ability to adapt to the foreign environment and reproduce — without becoming invasive. Bleeding hearts (a deer-resistant species originally from Japan) and the common peony (grown for centuries in China) are examples of naturalized species in Alberta.

Both native and naturalized species offer benefits over exotic plants: they require less water and nutrients to thrive, supply habitat and food for local and migratory birds, and support beneficial insects.

Get started by determining your plant hardiness zone to ensure the species you choose will thrive. Then check out the native and naturalized plants listed in your area — the Government of CanadaCanadian Wildlife Federation and CanPlant offer great search tools and lists.

Want to know which invasive species to avoid? Refer to a handy list from Nature Conservancy Canada.

Grow your groceries

Did you know global food production is responsible for one quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions?

Growing your own food is by no means a new concept, but it’s an easy way to reduce your environmental footprint. And, as Puppato points out, now’s as good a time as any to get started.

“Since the pandemic, people have started to realize the limitations of our supply chain and more people are looking to become self-reliant,” says Puppato. “This includes security and resiliency in everything from energy and water to food.”

To address food security, plans for “The Confluence” include a combination of greenhouses, raised beds and rain gardens (we’ll get to these later) to grow a range of edible and medicinal plants, from gooseberries and rhubarb to kohlrabi and zucchini.

Ditch harmful pesticides

You don’t need petrochemical-based pesticides to deter deer and birds — sprinkling garlic powder around the plants and covering them with netting have proven effective. To get rid of aphids, try spraying the leaves with cold water, and for slugs, try encircling your plants with wood ash or ground coffee beans.

“You can even purchase ladybugs and release them into your garden to help with certain pests,” says Puppato.

To mitigate pest problems right out the gate, stick to growing native species — they’ll attract fewer pests than exotic plants.

Dawn of the new lawn

Though common, classic green lawns are not necessarily environmentally-friendly.

They eat up a ton of valuable biodiverse real estate, require regular mowing which may emit greenhouse gases, and need lots of water and fertilizer. An accumulation of fertilizers in lawns, golf courses, parks and other green spaces can lead to algal bloom — an excess of nutrients in the water which can then cause other plants to die, triggering more negative impacts to the ecosystem.

Xeriscaping refers to designing a landscape that requires little to no irrigation. Reduce water use by transforming your lawn into a combination of native plants and mulch or even a rock garden.

A rock garden featuring a spiral design of stones and smaller pebbles in between.

If you do want to stick with a traditional lawn, opt for native grass seed instead of exotic alternatives like Kentucky bluegrass. Native seed requires less water, enhances soil conditions and supports the local ecosystem.

The septic field at “The Confluence” is no average lawn — it’s covered with poppies, wildflowers and native grass mix, including alpine bluegrass and northern wheatgrass.

Dig into permaculture

Permaculture is all about creating “agriculturally productive systems which have the diversity, stability and resilience of natural ecosystems.”

A number of gardening practices — such as rain gardens — fall within this holistic approach, offering clever and beautiful landscaping solutions.

“Rain gardens are strategically-placed gardens used to capture stormwater runoff from surfaces like driveways and filter it back into aquifers, which helps avoid overwhelming stormwater systems,” says Puppato.

 

 

To build your own, use native plants and layer them based on plant type and water need. For example, water-loving plants should go where the most water is expected to collect, whereas drought-resistant plants should be situated in the dryer areas.

A diagram explaining how a rain garden works. Water flows from gutters and driveways into an area of native plants with deep roots, filtering through the berm, which holds water in the garden during heavy rains.

Image courtesy of London Middlesex Master Gardeners.

If you want to try something similar but on a smaller scale, opt for an herb spiral — a spiral-shaped inclining mound of soil planted with drought-resistant (thyme, rosemary) and water-loving (mint, parsley) herbs.

Green thumbs, unite!

Ready to go green? Puppato and the entire GBT team are eager to research and create innovative projects that support building a greener world. Learn more about what they do, follow them on Twitter and get connected.

Be sure to check out “The Confluence” for the ultimate enviro-inspo.

 

Just off Highway 1A, west of Calgary and towards the Canadian Rockies, sits the National Golf and Country Club at Golden Royale Springs, Alberta’s first environmentally friendly golf course — or it could, one day.

A group of SAIT students turned grads — Kyle Shave, Jiayu Wang, Craig Nelson and David Weisbrot — designed the concept course for their Engineering Design and Drafting Technology (EDDT) capstone project.

“The idea for the project came about when we were trying to decide which discipline we wanted to focus on,” says David Weisbrot, EDDT ’20. “Our group was split between focusing on a civil project or a structural project. We thought a golf course gave us the opportunity to include both, while still being something we could have fun with.”

The project was recently named one of seven finalists for the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta’s (ASET) Capstone Project of the Year Award. The award recognizes engineering technology students who demonstrate innovation and ingenuity.

Going green on the green

“The main environmental issues with golf courses is their large footprint and the water needed to maintain them,” says Weisbrot. “In order to address these issues, we focused on trying to blend the course into the existing landscape as much as possible, while using the slopes to facilitate water re-use.”

While taking advantage of the natural features and vegetation of the planned site, the group’s nine-hole course design also incorporated sublayers below the surface to help retain water during warmer weather and assist with drainage during periods of heavy rain.

The addition of solar panels to a storage building included in the design also provides energy to charge solar-powered golf carts on site.

“The philosophies of sustainable design are infiltrating many aspects of what we do as drafters and designers,” says Lindsay Douglass, instructor, EDDT. “Students have an increased global consciousness, they’re considering material sourcing, minimizing waste, stimulating the local economy, reducing negative environmental impacts, and the mental and physical health of the occupants of their designs.”

“This group of students was really thoughtful about sustainable practices throughout the whole design process and applying these concepts to their final product.”

 

Sublayer section of a golf course hole from a conceptual design

Hole #1 longitudinal profile.

Bringing ideas to life with tech

The capstone project deliverables were completed using a variety of industry-standard technology tools. The course was designed with Civil 3D engineering design software, and a 3D rendering was presented using InfraWorks 360 and Twinmotion software.

“The toughest problems we had to overcome were technical issues related to creating the course in Civil 3D,” says Weisbrot. “In order to maintain our project schedule we had to get ahead of what we were learning in our course work.”

The group got a helping hand with that from EDDT instructor Kyle Evans.

“Bringing this kind of project to life is where industry is currently headed,” says Evans. “These types of software help immensely with the design process as they allow you to view your design in real-time, in 3D. This makes it easy to highlight problems or areas of concern.”

Career-ready in the classroom

The culmination of two years of study, the capstone project is an accreditation requirement that allows the students to graduate with a diploma recognized by ASET and Technology Accreditation Canada.

“With a capstone, things are laid out more like they would be in industry, with all the problems and solutions that come along with it,” says Evans.  

The real-world focus of a capstone project allows students to take the knowledge they’ve acquired throughout their studies and build on it.  

“It’s an opportunity for students to apply and showcase their drafting and design knowledge, problem solving skills, critical thinking and innovation, while building collaboration skills within their team,” adds Douglass.

ASET Capstone Project of the Year Award winners will be announced this summer.

As the Cascadia region anticipates welcoming as many as 4 million more people in the coming decades, cities, businesses and post-secondary institutions across the Pacific Northwest are exploring how to work together to build more modern, sustainable communities. Through meaningful partnerships, municipalities, citizens and local industries can create more livable urban spaces and close their sustainability gaps. The Cascadia Corridor has already embarked on shared sustainability endeavours such as the Pacific Coast Collaborative and the Hydrogen Highway. How do we continue to advance partnerships and participation in the development of the future?

Join the Cascadia Innovation Corridor Community on Tuesday, May 18th for a conversation on developing more sustainable cities and the training and educational tools available to support those efforts, including micro-credentialing. Speakers include the Manager of Municipal Programs at the Centre for Ecocities at the B.C. Institute of Technology, Cora Hallsworth. Cora will introduce the concept of modern ecocities and bridge into a discussion among city sustainability leaders, industry and educators from B.C., Washington and Oregon on new approaches and ways to collaborate to achieve shared sustainability goals. Cora is speaking on behalf of previously announced Dr. Jennie Moore who unfortunately is now unable to attend. See the full list of speakers below. 

Speakers include:

  • Dr. Tom Roemer, Vice President, Academic, BCIT and Co-Chair, Sub-Committee on Best and Diverse Talent, Cascadia Innovation Corridor
  • Dr. Amy Morrison, President, Lake Washington Institute of Technology, and Co-Chair, Sub-Committee on Best and Diverse Talent, Cascadia Innovation Corridor
  • Cora Hallsworth, Manager, Municipal Programs, BCIT Centre for Ecocities
  • Michelle Caulfield, Interim Director, Office of Sustainability and Environment, City of Seattle
  • Andrea Durbin, Director, City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
  • Doug Smith, P.Eng., Director, Sustainability Group, City of Vancouver
  • Steve Eccles, Regional CEO and Dean, Northeastern University, Vancouver
  • Duane Elverum, Executive Director and Co-Founder, CityStudio, Vancouver
  • Dr. Andrea Frisque, Senior Associate and Building Performance Engineer, Stantec
  • Governor Christine Gregoire, CEO, Challenge Seattle and Co-Chair, Cascadia Innovation Corridor

Visit connectcascadia.com/conference for the most up-to-date speakers list and event details. 

CIC logo

“The Confluence,” an eco-friendly home in the foothills of southern Alberta, has won a 2021 Prairie Wood Design Award from Alberta Wood WORKS!. The three-level, 2,238 square-foot dwelling claimed top spot in the Residential Wood Design category.

When SAIT, Woodpecker European Timber Framing and an Alberta family set out to build one of the greenest homes on earth, they knew Canada’s abundant renewable resource would play an important role. Now, “The Confluence” is being recognized for excellence in sustainable wood design and construction.

“This year’s award winners showcase ingenuity and creativity in new construction,” says Rory Koska, Program Director of Alberta Wood  WORKS!, “and an affinity for wood by not demolishing buildings but celebrating wood in the restoration of history through engineering and craftsmanship.”

Going against the grain: Building “The Confluence”

To really understand the role of wood in constructing “The Confluence,” who better to ask than the homebuilder?

Peter Graul first discovered his passion for sustainable building while apprenticing in Germany to become a journeyman carpenter and timber framer. He founded Woodpecker European Timber Framing nearly two decades ago, where sustainability starts in the shop and is part of everything they do.

“We heat our facilities with wood waste from our manufacturing, we drive cars instead of trucks to commute to work sites and produce little waste because of our modeling, material selection and indoor manufacturing,” he says.

The Woodpecker European Timber Framing team member stand smiling for a photo.

The Woodpecker European Timber Framing team, including founder and owner/operator Peter Graul, in the grey patterned button-down on the left.

Partnering with SAIT and the Molenaar family to build a home under the strict eco-friendly guidelines of the Living Building Challenge (LBC) was a welcomed opportunity for Woodpecker, but presented new challenges when it came to sourcing timber. LBC compliance required that all wood be Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified or salvaged (with few exceptions), sourced as locally as possible and not contain “red-listed” toxic ingredients in glues and treatments — all of which required time and patience to satisfy.

What’s the deal with FSC-certified wood?

FSC certification ensures wood comes from responsibly-managed forests. It factors in the social implications of harvesting, including land use and Indigenous land, and environmental implications, including biodiversity, monocultures and sustainable harvesting.

But inconvenience bred ingenuity. Where glued and composite products such as plywood might typically be used for sheathing the walls, solid spruce was installed in its place. Instead of using oriented strand board (similar to particle board) sheathing on the second-level floor, joists were strapped with tongue and groove two-by-sixes installed diagonally — a beautiful design element visible from the kitchen and living room below. The wood was left untreated to preserve the natural look and fresh scent indoors.

The kitchen of "The Confluence", complete with untreated joists and diagonal flooring visible above.

Untreated joists and diagonal flooring are visible from the kitchen and living room below.

Project goals of producing minimal waste and using reclaimed materials inspired another clever building solution. Excess sheathing made from wood fibre, a by-product of wood manufacturing, was shredded down and blown into wall cavities as insulation.

Bringing the outdoors in

Biophilic design is an architectural approach that seeks to connect building occupants with nature. The use of natural materials, like wood, helps to strengthen this connection and is part of what makes “The Confluence” so special.

“The intentional use of wood throughout the project integrates the surrounding forest into the design and allows an intermingling of the home and the region’s ecology,” says Hayley Puppato, project coordinator with SAIT’s Green Building Technologies and one of the project team members tasked with researching, sourcing and documenting use and waste of timber.

“Exposed beams inside and outside play with light and cast shadows in the home, and stratifying roof joists represent the forest canopy, creating a comforting, sheltered effect.”

Sunlight illuminates the eco-friendly home "The Confluence", and the exposed beams on the outside cast shadows.

Natural light hits the exposed beams, casting shadows inside and outside “The Confluence.”

An internal shot of the kitchen and living room, complete with stratifying exposed wood joists above and large windows.

Stratifying roof joists represent the forest canopy, bringing nature indoors.

While some materials virtually never change in appearance, wood wears the passage of time like a badge of honour while remaining structurally sound — a feature embraced by the design team.

“The custom stairs were built with solid pieces, meant to endure the hustle and bustle of three kids and pets. The treads and risers will develop character with every scratch, nick and dent — and will surely stand the test of time,” says Puppato.

When asked to choose her favourite wood feature, it’s a no-brainer for Puppato.

“I love the sap dripping from the beams. It’s something I haven’t seen in other buildings and I think it brings another level of texture and fragrance to the building.”

Sap drips from a beam inside the house.

Sap drips from the beams of “The Confluence.”

Red trusses on the exterior of the house.

Red trusses on the exterior of the house, peaked to emulate the nearby Rocky Mountains.

Peaked timber trusses emulate the nearby Rocky Mountains.

Red front porch timbers complete with a rope swing and a bird's nest.

Front porch timbers were quickly used by the homeowners’ children for swings and local birds for nests.

Wood for good: Sustainable building

When it comes to choosing sustainable building materials, wood checks quite a few boxes. In fact, through a combination of careful project planning and proper harvesting, timber used in construction can go through its entire life cycle leaving almost no environmental footprint.

“It absorbs carbon while it grows and doesn’t create as much pollution as concrete or steel during manufacturing,” says Graul.

“During construction, cut-offs can either be recycled into other products. Even after the building’s life cycle, the wood can be recycled.”

Beautiful hardwood flooring salvaged from the rafters of a Vancouver warehouse used to store baking essentials for the military in World War II.

Hardwood flooring was salvaged from the rafters of a Vancouver warehouse used to store baking essentials for the military in World War II.

While composite products might be a seemingly attractive “maintenance-free” choice for homeowners, Graul warns about the larger implications of overlooking the greener option.

“Think about how those products are manufactured and, even more importantly, where they end up after the life cycle of the building has come to its end. It’s up to consumers to ask these questions and put pressure on builders, manufacturers and suppliers to shift in the right direction,” says Graul.

“Wood is an environmentally, aesthetically and structurally unbeaten building material. Let’s go back to the basics and consider materials that have proven to do the job for thousands of years.”

Build what’s next

Whatever project your organization is looking to conquer, SAIT’s Applied Research and Innovation Services can help you get there. Connect with our team.

Ready to nail down a new career? Check out SAIT’s four-year Bachelor of Science Construction Project Management.

 

Winnipeg, MB – Red River College (RRC) is leading the way on the use of solar energy-conducting technology, providing opportunities for students and local construction firms to grow their skillsets.

Next week, electrical and building envelope crews will begin the installation of approximately 404 Kromatix Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPVs) – the first of its kind in North America – along the exterior façade of the Innovation Centre, currently under construction in Winnipeg’s Exchange District.

We’re proud to be the first institution in North America to welcome this sustainable technology – it’s only fitting that it’s installed on a building designed to cultivate and foster innovative ideas. This is just one example of how RRC puts its values of sustainability into action, and demonstrates to our students that there is always a better way of doing things – so long as you are open to new ideas, and have the courage to ask ‘how can we make this work?’

Fred Meier, President and CEO of RRC

Kromatix, developed by SwissINSO, is an opaque colour-treated glass – without the use of paint or tint – that is layered over the solar, thermal, and electrical components of each panel. The technology provides beautifully aesthetic panels that are optimized for solar energy generation. When combined with the building’s 138 rooftop panels, the College will offset the energy consumption by about 193Mwh/year – or, enough energy to power 18.5 average-sized homes for a year.

Diamond Schmitt Architects and Number TEN Architectural Group, who worked in tandem to design the building, sourced the innovative product used in Denmark. Using a procurement method called design-assist, subcontractors were brought into the project before the design was complete to ensure the vision was functional and achievable.

“It was really important for us to work with local tradespeople for the installation of the panels. Working with local trades to learn and install the panels means we have the technology here in Winnipeg, and it can be passed along and shared for future projects. The teams working on this project are loaded with RRC grads, so it comes full-circle to have been taught in school and then bringing back new technology for an RRC project.” said Frank Koreman, Project Manager at Akman Construction Ltd.

The RRC project team, along with Akman, Flynn Canada Inc. and Wescan Construction Services, worked with SolarLab in Denmark to learn about and test the technology to determine how it could be adapted for Winnipeg’s polarizing weather systems. When crews begin to install the panels next week, SolarLab will be on hand via virtual technology to provide guidance and help resolve any hiccups.

“Construction in Europe is very different compared to construction in North America, there are different standards to meet and with this project we’ve had to meet both standards,” said Tyler Tomlinson, Manitoba Provincial Manager at Flynn Canada Inc. “The panels are unique, in that they provide an architectural finish, but there’s a lot of layers that need to work together.”

Before installation, the panels had meet the standards and be approved by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), the City of Winnipeg and Manitoba Hydro. The panels had to be individually tested at SolarLab, and documentation provided to the construction team, prior to installation.

“BIPVs and PVs are becoming more popular options in North America, and our standards are changing to reflect that. When we started –  because this is one of the first in north America with this type of modules –  there was no other reference points in terms of building codes and electrical codes to go along with installation. We can now look to this building as a reference point for the future,” said Ron Nault, Project Manager at Wescan.

The Kromatix BIPVs are just one of the sustainable features of the new 100,000 square-foot space – other energy efficient technologies, including Power Over Ethernet (POE) lighting, Smart LSI Breakers, WIFI outlets all play a role in helping the building reach near net zero and LEED Gold certified.

Once the building is complete, students in RRC’s trades programs will be able to use the Innovation Centre as a living lab – measuring energy consumption and generation levels for electricity, heating, cooling, lighting and more. RRC will also use the research data to work with its partner institutions in Canadian Colleges for a Resilient Recovery (C2R2) to collaborate on programs that will support a green talent pipeline in Manitoba and across Canada.

RRC is pleased to be able to open its doors this coming fall, and will welcome students in a blended learning capacity until it is safe to return full time.

RRC Named Greenest Employer for Eleventh Straight Year

Sustainable features included in the Innovation Centre are just one of the reasons RRC has been named one of Canada’s Greenest Employers for the eleventh straight year. For more information, visit: rrc.ca/news

Originally published in The Hill Times

In its September 2020 Speech from the Throne, the Federal government committed to making “the largest investment in Canadian history in training for workers.” That investment will be crucial to achieving the ambitious Federal goal of creating over one million jobs in order to restore employment to pre-pandemic levels. 

Simply put, achieving that goal will require cooperation between governments, educators, and industry. The government needs to identify partners that can maximize the impact of Federal spending on workforce training. In particular, in order for a generational investment in training to have deep and lasting effects, it needs to fund inclusive skills programs that prepare workers for the green, sustainability-focussed jobs of today and the future. That kind of approach will be especially crucial to training Indigenous peoples and young Canadians who are looking for ways to succeed in a changing economy.

As governments know, workers must also be the cornerstone for building a stronger and more resilient economy in the aftermath of COVID-19. To ensure that workers enjoy the full benefits of the recovery from COVID-19, governments, educators, and employers need to collaborate on projects that will create and maintain good jobs, are good for the environment, are inclusive, and address socio-economic inequality.

The needs for sustainable job creation will vary across the country. But, from developing brand new curriculum for people entering the emerging hydrogen sector in Alberta to offering programs to update workers’ skills for the growing electric vehicle manufacturing industry in Ontario, the opportunities are endless.

Some stakeholder groups are already looking for ways to partner with government on meeting that challenge and exploring the associated opportunities. For instance, Canadian Colleges for a Resilient Recovery (C2R2) is a group of colleges, CEGEPs, training institutions, and polytechnics from across the country that have joined forces to educate a post-pandemic workforce to support a climate-focused economic recovery from COVID-19.

With Federal partnership, C2R2 members stand ready to rapidly train workers across Canada, including people who are currently under-represented in the workforce, to meet skills gaps for a climate-resilient economy. We will help our communities revive and develop Canadian businesses through applied solutions to sustainability challenges. And our members will work with local industry and governments to serve as testing sites for innovative climate change solutions.

The Federal government could support that work in many ways, from funding rapid training programs to ensuring that training credits and grants allow for students to continue working while they gain new skills. But the bottom line is that educators need support to skill-up the workforce of tomorrow – which is why we are excited by the Government’s commitment to generational investments in Canadian workers.

The goals are ambitious, but we have to be ambitious to succeed and ensure a strong, resilient recovery for Canada. Canadian colleges have always risen to the challenge of ensuring that Canadian workers are trained for the jobs of tomorrow. We stand ready to get that job done once again.

By Ron McKerlie | Ron McKerlie is Chair of Canadian Colleges for a Resilient Recovery and President of Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario

Originally published by gb&d magazine

Doubling as a lab and teaching tool for a sustainable future, The Joyce Centre for Partnership and Innovation at Mohawk College’s Fennell Campus is the largest net zero energy institutional building in the Southern Ontario region, making it the perfect example how to turn net zero buildings into positive teaching tools.

The team at B+H Architects and mcCallumSather went to great lengths to implement green tactics by sticking to a budget to ensure their energy targets would succeed. A few of those green tactics include solar panel “wings” on the roof, geothermal heat sourcing, and a high-performance, triple-glazed curtain wall for the least amount of leaked air exposure.

Originally published by toronto.com

Seneca College will soon have more trees and shrubs at its Newnham Campus on Finch Avenue East in North York.

The college said it has received $73,653 through the city’s Greening Partnership Grant to plant 1,220 shrubs and trees at Newnham by 2022.

By planting native trees and naturalizing our campus, we are acknowledging that we share the land with our Indigenous Peoples and that we respect their sustainable teaching and land use values.

Don Forster, Seneca College

The funding will create a “more sustainable and naturalized landscape” on campus, helping reduce Seneca’s carbon footprint and creating more green spaces for students, employees and the community, the college said.

“By planting native trees and naturalizing our campus, we are acknowledging that we share the land with our Indigenous Peoples and that we respect their sustainable teaching and land use values,” Don Forster, a senior manager at the college, said in a news release. “Planting trees also promotes biodiversity by attracting butterflies, birds, bees and squirrels and many other insects and small animals.”

The tree-planting program will include education for Seneca students through hands-on learning opportunities in the Environmental Landscape Management, Environmental Technician and Environmental Technology programs, the college said.

Originally published by REMI Network 

British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) will more than double its student housing capacity with the construction of a new mass timber student housing project.

The B.C. government is investing $108.8 million and BCIT is contributing $6 million towards the $115 million project. The plan includes a BC Student Housing Loan Program for public post-secondary institutions that provides access to funds to help finance student housing projects over six years.

This project will be the first investment in new student housing beds at BCIT in 38 years.

The 464-bed, 12-storey student housing project will be designed to reflect Indigenous culture in the region, and to support Indigenous learners by providing community spaces on the ground floor.

“This investment will allow BCIT students to access sustainable on-campus housing to support their journey to a new or expanded career through an industry-relevant applied education. This new mass timber housing project is a key component of BCIT’s commitment to support the future social and economic prosperity of the province in a way that respects our spectacular natural environment.”

Kathy Kinloch, President, BCIT

B.C. is a leader in the use of mass timber as an innovative way to reduce the carbon footprint of the building sector. Mass timber is a sustainable product that is cost effective, quicker to build and has a lower carbon footprint compared to traditional concrete construction.

“Mass timber is key to diversifying and creating a more resilient forest sector as we work to transition to high-value over high-volume production,” said Ravi Kahlon, Parliamentary Secretary for Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “It’s great to see the ripple effects from the expanded use of sustainably harvested, low-carbon wood products in B.C. buildings. It helps combat climate change and brings people back to work in forestry-related jobs, while this project creates housing for hundreds of future BCIT students.”

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