Burnaby, B.C. – The British Columbia Institute of Technology’s (BCIT) North Campus Infrastructure Project has won the Envision Gold award for its efforts towards sustainable construction.
“The continuous community engagement throughout the North Campus Infrastructure Project has allowed BCIT to fully understand the needs of its community and to guide development and renewal opportunities that provide long-term benefits,” said Kathy Kinloch, president of BCIT, in a press release. “This award further recognizes BCIT for its strong commitment and leadership in sustainability.”
According to Kinloch, BCIT is the first educational institution in Canada to have the sustainability of one of its infrastructure projects validated through a rigorous, third-party process like the Envision framework.
The project’s cost was shared by the province, the Government of Canada Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund, and BCIT. The North Campus Infrastructure project includes high-priority upgrades to the campus’ electrical infrastructure.
The Burnaby campus’s electrical power is currently provided through two on-campus high-voltage (HV) receiving stations called Goard Way and Canada Way, which are connected to the 12.5 kV HV service provided by BC Hydro. According to officials, the project’s electrical upgrades will “complement and enhance” the initiative for BCIT and BC Hydro to design and construct Canada’s first Smart Power Microgrid.
“Congratulations to BCIT on receiving the Envision Gold award for sustainable infrastructure,” Navdeep Bains, minister of innovation, science and economic development, said in a press release. “This is a great example of our government’s commitment to build modern learning spaces that benefit students, faculty, the community and the environment. These infrastructure upgrades boost innovation and long-term growth, creating good jobs for Canadians.”
Microgrids can work along or collaboratively, to give flexibility for power generation to meet demand and reduce the possibility of blackouts during extreme weather. The grid will be able to utilize current energy sources such as hydro and natural gas, with alternative sources such as biomass, solar and wind. “BCIT sets the gold standard for innovation and sets the bar for other campuses in Canada,” said Melanie Mark, minister for advanced education, in a press release. “This project is delivering on a commitment to build a more sustainable and resilient campus and showcases our government’s commitment to a CleanBC plan to build a cleaner, brighter future for generations to come.”
Envision provides a holistic framework for evaluating and rating the community, environmental, and economic benefits of all types and sizes of infrastructure projects.