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Sustainability

Conestoga continues its efforts in sustainability by taking the necessary steps to reduce waste and energy consumption. Our developed structures and practices help our buildings run more effectively and efficiently. 

Learn more about our achievements in sustainability by selecting an area of focus below.

LEED accredited building 

Built in 2011, Conestoga’s Cambridge campus was designed and constructed to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver accreditation, an internationally recognized certification. The 260,000 Square foot facility has a passive energy design to promote sustainable energy management. 

Interior and exterior windows provide natural light which reduces energy consumption and has a positive effect on personal health and academic performance. The building exceeds the regulated accessibility standards to better meet the needs of students, staff and visitors. 

Waterloo campus expansion 

This expansion is designed to achieve 35 per cent better efficiency than the OSB SB-10 2017. The OSB SB-10 (Ontario Building code version 2.0) refers to energy efficient requirements; specifically a list of regulations that Ontario builders must follow to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and make improvements on energy conservation in buildings.

Some features of the new expansion include:

  • solar photovoltaic cells,
  • chilled water storage, 
  • LED lighting, and
  • low flow water fixtures. 

The Cambridge campus has an innovative system that improves the quality of water discharge. The campus discharges water to Blair Creek, one of the last cold-water fisheries in Kitchener. We have constructed a process comprised of bio-swales, infiltration galleries, detention ponds, oil-grit separators and a cooling trench to ensure there is no impact on the receiving system.

These measures allowed for enhancement of ground water quality while preserving the natural floodplain hydrologic functions. This installation is part of a five year monitoring program to assess performance and provide documentation for future water projects by others. 

The college's main campus (Doon) is located on the southern side of Kitchener, Ontario. This geological and climatic region has wet-climate soils and deciduous forests, which is home to various birds, squirrels, chipmunks and other species. The Grand River flows north and south of the campus meandering through parks and creeks monitored by the Grad River Conservation Authority. At the back of the complex is a large pond in a park-like setting surrounded with deciduous trees and draught tolerant perennial gardens that require no watering system and collaborative spaces.

The Walter Bean Grand River Trail weaves through the south area of the campus, providing opportunities for education and recreation activities for students, community members and visitors. The protection and improvement of these green spaces is integral to providing a healthy learning environment. 

Our energy management strategy includes demand response ventilation, load shedding, and installation of digital control, rooftops and air compressors. This reduces our energy consumption, operation and maintenance costs, as well as optimizes life-cycle economic performance. 

We also use a variety of energy efficient fixtures and building systems in our renovation and new construction projects as part of our priority to reduce energy consumption.

Roofing

All roofing upgrades since 2015 have been completed with calcite materials. Calcite roofs, also known as white roofs are light in color and reflect more solar energy back into the atmosphere. 

Demand Control Ventilation (DCV)

We have retrofitted our pneumatic Variable Air Volume (VAV) boxes with Digital Data Control (DDC). By converting the VAV boxes to DDC and installing the room thermostats with motion sensors, we can reduce the heating/cooling when the room is unoccupied. The amount of fresh air ventilation in many buildings is maintained at a constant level for peak occupancy, regardless of the actual number of people. During lower occupancy periods, over-ventilation results in wasted electricity and money. Demand Control Ventilation (DCV) ensures the optimum amount of fresh air based on occupancy level, reducing operating costs and increasing comfort. 

LED Lighting

All new construction or renovations include LED lighting with motion and daylight harvesting sensors to help conserve energy.

Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Roof Top Unit (RTU)

New HVAC RTU’s are more efficient. All new RTU’s installed are ultra-efficient. The economizers connected to the HVAC RTU are controlled when outside temperature is below 20⁰C. The economizer controller will shut off the compressor and bring cool air from outside if the outside temperature is below 18⁰C. 

Water-softeners upgrade

New water softeners installed reclaim brine water which reduces water consumption to regenerate and the amount of salt water going down the drain. 

Demand Response

Demand Response reduces electricity voluntarily in times when the electric grid is facing extreme conditions. Conestoga College became a participant in the Demand Response program for the Doon campus in 2017. We have committed to use less energy during critical times to lower the potential for brownouts and provides an attractive alternative to constructing new power plants. 

Utility Sub-Metering

Conestoga College has installed electrical sub-metering at the Doon campus. This allows for more detailed information gathering. 

Solar Panels

Conestoga is installing solar panels on the roof of the new Waterloo campus; the capacity will be 150 kW.

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