Sustainability: Buildings and Green Spaces

Bushes and trees in the Husky Courtyard

Facilities and its Office of Campus Sustainability strive to create a sustainable campus by delivering new green spaces and energy-efficient buildings.

Targets

Increase the amount of functional indoor and outdoor green spaces and establish a minimum LEED Silver Certification for new buildings exceeding 100,000 square feet.

Progress: The number of community garden plots has risen to 50 and the recently erected Faculty of Social Sciences (FSS) building and the Advanced Research Complex (ARC) have both achieved LEED Gold certification; the Learning Centre, still under construction, is targeting gold as well.

What is LEED?

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

LEED certification, the international mark of excellence for green building, provides independent, third-party verification that a building was designed and built using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

A Plan to Green the Campus

One of the “big moves” identified in Facilities’ Campus Master Plan, our framework for the evolution of the University, is to green it.  

More trees and landscaped open spaces will soften the built environment and create a more attractive campus; provide places for relaxation, gathering and learning; help to manage stormwater and mitigate the impacts of climate change; and generally support a healthy campus and healthy lifestyles. New landscaping initiatives implemented with every new development or renovation will ensure that the character and experience of the campus is gradually enhanced and extended to all areas of the campus.

A number of other landscape projects have been identified in the Plan, some of them to be implemented on their own and others associated with new buildings or infrastructure.

Green Spaces

Community Gardens
Our community garden program has been active for 8 years and now holds over 50 plots. Community garden plots are offered on a first come, first serve basis. To reserve a plot contact the Office of Campus Sustainability's community garden coordinator. Visit the community garden page for more information.

Living Wall
The FSS Building houses one of North America’s largest biofilter walls. Our six story living wall is made up of 2000 plants of 12 different species. The biofilter living wall reduces the amount of air intake and lowers heating and cooling costs. The unit can even render the building’s humidifier unnecessary and lower concentrations of dust, fungal spores, and airborne bacteria as well.

Husky courtyard
Hidden In the centre of the Biosciences complex is the Husky Courtyard, a “living classroom” that simulates a boreal forest and wetland environment.

“We are recycling this building”

When you see this sign in front of a building being deconstructed, it’s that we’re committing to recycle as much of it as possible.

If you observe some of the deconstruction process, you might notice that the building materials are being sorted into large, separate stacks, usually corresponding to the different materials illustrated on the sign: wood, glass, metal, brick, etc. After that preliminary sorting, the materials are then brought off-site and further sorted before being recycled – we hope to recycle upwards of 90% of the materials in these buildings.

Sign used outside buildings being demolished which illustrates the materials that can be recycled

 

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