Green wins gold for Okanagan College

Two environmentally friendly Okanagan College projects took top honours at the recent Tommie Awards for new buildings.

The exterior of the new trades training building on the Kelowna campus of Okanagan College.

Green technology took top honours at the 25th annual Tommie awards, with two Okanagan College projects recognized for their environmental innovation.

One of the most advanced and sustainable trades training facilities in the world, OC’s new trades complex at the Kelowna campus landed top spot for Best Environmental Initiative at the Canadian Home Builders’ Association – Okanagan Chapter awards gala on the weekend.

The three-year, $35-million project was designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects in association with David Nairne + Associates and built by  by PCL Constructors Westcoast Inc. with the goal to be certified LEED Platinum and achieve net zero energy usage.

The ambitious project involved a 10,000-square-metre renovation and expansion that included building a new three-story learning space and state-of-the-art workshops, as well as retrofitting and environmentally upgrading existing facilities.

According to the college, every effort was made in the complex’s design to integrate renewable energy sources.

The heating system uses waste heat from the treated effluent of the city’s neighbouring wastewater treatment plant and the facility boasts the second largest photovoltaic solar array on a non-utility institutional building in Western Canada. It generates enough energy to power more than 25 homes per year. (The college’s Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence in Penticton is currently the largest solar array.)

The trades complex also incorporates smart technologies to minimize its carbon footprint. The automated windows of the “breathing” atrium regulate heating and cooling based on temperature and sun position. Trades shops were outfitted with on-demand ventilation to significantly reduce energy waste during hands-on training.

The complex, which officially opened in Sept., has the capacity to train 2,700 students a year for in-demand skills.

It is the college’s first campus building to win a Tommie Award and is one of two sustainability-focused projects the college is involved with that won awards at this year’s ceremony.

The Wilden Living Lab, a collaborative project between the college and four community partners, also received gold, winning the FortisBC Award for Building Energy Efficiency.

Built with assistance of 17 OC residential construction program students, the Living Lab is a real-world study on sustainable homebuilding – the only one of its kind in North America.

Comprised of two identical homes with different energy-efficient technologies that are being monitored monitored and compared over a three-year period, the lab’s “Home of Tomorrow” incorporates renewable energy sources, including geothermal heating and cooling, solar panels and a heat pump water heater.

“To be recognized in our community for two leading-edge environmental initiatives is very affirming,” said OC president Jim Hamilton.  “We pride ourselves on having set and achieved high standards for sustainability. The trades complex and Living Lab demonstrate how we continue to achieve that standard.”

The Living Lab homes mark the 49th and 50th projects of the college’s Home for Learning program.

Okanagan College has won three Tommie Awards in the past for its Home for Learning projects.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Brown Derby’s Mysterioso was one of three entries in the 2020 Armstrong Professional Grilled Cheese Sandwich competition held Tuesday, Oct. 20. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
Bakery gets judges’ attention in Armstrong pro grilled cheese sandwich event

Country Bakery’s German Kase Pretzel Grilled Cheese oozes past Brown Derby, Wild Oak Café

A power outage caused by a vehicle crash affected 2,178 BC Hydro customers in Enderby Wednesday night, Oct. 21, 2020. (BC Hydro image)
Vehicle crash in Enderby knocks out power for more than 2,000

BC Hydro crews are expected to arrive by 6:30 p.m.

Ahead of the provincial election on Oct. 24, Enderby residents put their questions to the Shuswap riding’s three candidates: Greg Kyllo for the BC Liberal Party, Sylvia Lindgren for the BC NDP and Owen Madden for the BC Green Party. The candidates recorded their answers in videos distributed by the Enderby and District Chamber of Commerce. (Salmon Arm Observer image)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Shuswap candidates answer Enderby’s top election questions

The candidates submitted video responses for an all-candidates forum ahead of the Oct. 24 election

Coldstream Meadows Retirement Community announced Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, The Lodge will close by February 2021. (Coldstream Meadows Retirement Community)
Coldstream retirement community to close Lodge

Staff to work with residents of the Lodge to find new accommodation

Judy Mallett, a Butcher Boys employee for 44 years, known for her fun-loving nature and fundraising abilities, died of cancer Oct. 4 at age 70. (Photo submitted)
Fun-loving Vernon grocery clerk fondly remembered

Judy Mallett, who worked for Butcher Boys for 46 years, died Oct. 4.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

(Kelowna Capital News)
B.C. Labour Board orders Peachland cannabis company to reinstate laid-off employees

The B.C. Labour Relations Board determined the employees were laid off due to their plan to unionize

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Two pigs roam the Salmon Arm Walmart parking lot during a prior visit photographed by Danielle Burgi. (Danielle Burgi photo)
Pigs trot over for a visit at Salmon Arm shopping centre

Employees say this was the second drop-in from the temporarily free-range porkers

Penticton law courts. (Black Press file)
Osoyoos man in court for alleged shooting

The Oct. 11 shooting left a man with non-life threatening injuries

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Princeton man on motor scooter refuses to provide breath test to police

The scooter did not have a license plate and was not insured

Most Read