BCIT

BCIT

October 14, 2009 15:30 ET

BCIT Establishes 'Sustainability Precinct'-Aimed at Reducing Energy and Materials Use on Campus by 90 Percent

A first for post-secondary education in North America

BURNABY, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Oct. 14, 2009) - Environmental leaders at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) are challenging themselves like never before – and making history in the process. It's called the 'Sustainability Precinct' and, for the first time in post-secondary education in North America, the BCIT School of Construction and the Environment will attempt to reduce energy and materials consumption on a portion of the Burnaby Campus by 90 percent.

"The World Business Council for Sustainable Development says that a 90 percent reduction in global levels of energy and materials consumption is required to secure a sustainable future," says Jennie Moore, director of Sustainable Development and Environmental Stewardship at BCIT. "Growing concerns about energy security coupled with evidence of climate change, habitat degradation and species loss, point towards the need for this despite perceptions that such targets are unrealistic. BCIT is rising to the challenge."

Located in the Northeast section of the campus, the Sustainability Precinct will encompass six neighboring buildings. There, BCIT faculty and staff will aim to reduce the ecological footprint of campus operations, while maintaining existing service levels, through research and learning activities that include building practices that approach net zero performance and integrated design solutions that showcase the potential for wood in construction.

"The Sustainability Precinct embodies BCIT core values of experiential learning and applied research to advance the state-of-practice," says John English, dean of the BCIT School of Construction and the Environment. "Our longer term goal is to use it as a catalyst to achieve similar levels of performance across all BCIT campuses and to serve as a demonstration for municipalities and other organizations."

The majority of the global population live in urban areas that account for 70 percent of energy and materials consumption worldwide. Canada is one of the most urbanized cultures in the world with 80 percent of its population living in cities using more energy and materials per capita than almost any other nation.

The BCIT School of Construction and the Environment is a leader in sustainability education concerned with the natural environment, the built environment and the relationship between them.

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