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The Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation Okanagan College Penticton, British Columbia, Canada The Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence (COE) at Okanagan College was conceived to meet the urgent need for trades people, site managers and construction workers who are skilled in the practices of sustainable building. It includes classrooms, workshops, administrative offices, commercial offices, gymnasium, fitness centre, computer labs, demonstration lab, cafeteria, study spaces and gathering spaces. It is designed to be one of the most innovative and advanced sustainable facilities in the world, designed to the standards of the Living Building Challenge, perhaps the most rigorous sustainability program on the planet. As a leading venue for teaching in green building design, the COE will have two important features: • It is highly adaptable, so that as time passes, new technologies will easily replace old, ensuring relevance and currency with the curriculum. • It promotes innovation in green building design and development. An innovation technology incubator is included in the COE for entrepreneurs in green building technology to test and develop new ideas in cooperation with the faculty and students.



SUSTAINABLE DESIGN NARRATIVE 1. Srategic Decisions With a mandate to train the next generation of tradespeople in sustainable building practices, the COE was designed to exemplify the very latest in green technologies. To do this, the COE is registered under the Living Building Challenge (LBC) version 1.3, the largest building to date to do so. The overall goal of the LBC is to create buildings with no negative impact on the environment and ecosystem in which they are located, either in the design and construction phase or their ongoing use. Every decision made by the design team was framed by the requirements of the LBC, and each one presented a myriad of interesting obstacles to address, learn from and overcome



2. Community The entire Penticton site was reconfigured to remove vehicles from the heart of the campus and create a vibrant new entrance with priority access to pedestrians and cyclists. The new building forms a courtyard with the two existing buildings and draws the community into the heart of the College—it links all the campus amenities and provides sheltered social gathering spaces for student use. Public transport is directly accessible from the centre of the campus and priority parking is given to HOV, car-pooling and electric/hybrid vehicles.



3. Site Ecology The COE is located within the city centre of Penticton, in the Okanagan Valley. The South Okanagan receives less than 30cm of annual precipitation and long hours of summer sun. The site, previously used as a lumber mill, avoids proximity to sensitive local ecosystems.

Site Plan

The landscape design uses Xeriscaping principles and indigenous plant material to mitigate the need for supplemental water from irrigation systems. Additionally, the shallow, dry soil of the experimental green roofs is planted with local species from similar soil conditions on the surrounding hills. It is hoped the use of indigenous species will increase the natural habitat of the Sandhill Skipper, a Provincial red-listed butterfly, found on the adjacent grassland.



4. Light and Air Due to site restrictions, the building is arranged on a north-south axis with a series of projections on the west to utilize the south and north light. The heavily articulated plan allows daylight and natural ventilation to penetrated deep into the building. In accordance with LBC, 100% of all occupied workspaces are within 9 meters of an operable window for daylight, fresh air and views. In addition, the COE takes advantage of many innovative technologies to boost daylight penetration into the building. Large tubular skylights are used to maintain daylighting levels throughout the workshop spaces. In the north wing, prototype sun-tracking light pipes are being trialed—using an array of moving mirrors to actively track sun throughout the day, magnify sunlight by a factor of ten and redirect it through a horizontal light pipe up to 18 meters into the building. Natural ventilation is boosted by a series of 14m high chimneys along the central spine. The natural stack effect is almost doubled in efficiency by the addition of glazing on the south side of each chimney.

Solar shades in the high angle summer sun.

Transition space serves as solar heat collector for remainder of the building

Solar shades in the low angle winter sun.

Projected annual lighting energy consumption: 19.2 kWh/m2 Projected annual fans/pumps energy consumption: 2.9 kWh/m2



5. Water Conservation Low flow fixtures, xeriscaping and rooftop rainwater reuse are all used to reduce the overall water demand. With the agreement of LBC, the building achieves the mandate of net-zero water use through a partnering agreement with the local municipality. Black water is exported to the recently completed, chemical-free, municipal water treatment facility. The equivalent volume of grey water (treated effluent water) returns to flush toilets, irrigation, etc.

Net annual consumption of potable water for building operations: 2491 L/occupant/annum Net annual consumption of potable water for building operations: 0.340 L/m2/occupant/annum Annual use of grey water and rainwater for building operations: 0.361 L/m2/occupant/annum Percentage improvement over reference building: 70.36% Stormwater retained on site: 100% Sanitary water treated and returned to site for re-use: 100%



6. Energy Present and Future This building is largely an application of old thinking and old technology to solve a modern problem. Basic design principles of siting to take advantage of the energy and ventilation that the natural environment has to offer, combined with practical solutions to building envelope and building systems design were utilized. One new innovation was the use of a composite wood and concrete wall-panel to address the need for radiant heating in the gymnasium. The panels use wood and concrete to form a wall system that incorporates the radiant heating pipes, ventilation and electrical infrastructure. The panels use less material than a non-composite solution, less embodied energy and are also lighter.

Accessible rooftop with ventilation chimneys, Solatubes and photovoltaic solar panels.

The first phase of the photovoltaic array is 260 kW, which is understood to be the largest in Western Canada for a non-utility organization, and will generate nearly 300 kWh per year. After analyzing actual energy demand shortfall during operation, the second phase is intended to bring the building to net-zero. No energy is generated on site using fossil fuels or combustion of any kind. Projected annual electrical energy consumption: 225 MJ/m2 Percentage of energy consumed from renewable resources (site installation and green power certificates): 100% (69% + 31% respectively)

First Floor


Gymnasium—Composite concrete/glulam wood panels

Second Floor


7. Materials and Resources All materials are sourced locally according to their density with only a few exceptions— high-density materials such as concrete, steel, and blockwork are manufactured within 500 km of the site, medium density materials within 1,000 km and light materials within 2,000 km. For the majority of items, raw materials are sourced within the same radii of the point of manufacture. The building is timber-framed, thereby significantly reducing the embodied energy, and uses nearly 100% BC sourced wood. In response to the Mountain Pine Bettle epidemic, much of the wood is from beetle-infested forests in the BC Interior. Percentage of recycled materials used in the building: 10.01% Waste materials recycled during construction: >87%



8. Life Cycle Considerations As an agent for change in green building thinking, the COE moved away from cellular offices for faculty, in preference for a space shared between six or seven staff. This improved the environmental performance, and also created spaces that were interchangeable with classrooms, increasing the flexibility of the building over its lifetime. Further, the building is designed to be highly adaptable. As new technologies arise they can easily replace old, ensuring that the building will reflect the most up-to date sustainable building practices.

Shared office space for faculty.

Public entrance to gymnasium and fitness centre.



9. Education and Information Sharing The most exhilarating aspect of the Centre of Excellence is that the building itself will be used extensively as part of the teaching curriculum. The design allows most aspects of the building and its systems to be accessible and demonstrable, and live building data is available to learn from. To encourage conservation and behavioural adaptation, energy use is metered at each classroom, workshop, office and other areas. Real-time energy usage is demonstrated in each space using red/yellow/green indicators and full LED displays showing comprehensive data. As a centre of innovation in green building design and development, the COE is also home to The Okanagan Research and Innovation Centre, a non-profit organization that supports entrepreneurs with new ideas for green buildings. At the COE, these innovators can develop their ideas in cooperation with the faculty and students.

Corridors with exposed HVAC systems.

“The Centre of Excellence represents a fundamental change in the way we live, work and learn.” - Cory Nelmes Okanagan College Students’ Union

TEDx event themed Beyond Sustainability featuring the COE.

Demonstration lab.