Northern Lights College: Energy House Achieves LEED® Platinum Certification

Member Spotlight
The Centre of Excellence for Clean Energy Technology (Energy House) at the Dawson Creek Campus of Northern Lights College (NLC) in northeastern British Columbia has achieved LEED® Platinum certification by the Canada Green Building Council.

With the certification, Energy House becomes one of only a few dozen LEED Platinum buildings in the New Construction and Major Renovation category in Canada.

NLC Regional Facilities Manager, Murray Armstrong, and
President and CEO, Laurie Rancourt, with LEED Platinum plaque.

According to the certification review report completed in June by the Canada Green Building Council, NLC achieved 56 points in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Canada Rating Systems. The minimum to achieve Platinum status is 52 points. Platinum is the highest level of achievement.

LEED defines six categories that are evaluated during the assessment process. There are five Environmental categories—Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, and Indoor Environmental Quality—and a category for Innovation and Design Process. The five environmental categories are divided into LEED credits, subject to meeting certain performance goals. As well, a number of mandatory prerequisites must be achieved.

"Receiving LEED Platinum certification for Energy House is a very proud achievement for Northern Lights College. Earning Platinum status involved the hard work of dozens of people at the College to create and execute the plan to build Energy House," said NLC's regional facilities manager, Murray Armstrong. "However, Platinum status is more than just building a good structure. It also involves changes and shifts to cultural norms around the College, such as having smoking areas a minimum 7.5 metres away from entrances, windows or air intakes, and includes such things as having designated car pool parking spots."

Some of the notable features of Energy House, and its construction process, that contributed to the LEED Platinum certification include:

  • Half of the site area was restored with native or adaptive vegetation, and does not require irrigation.
  • Automatic controls have been installed for non-emergency interior lighting.
  • Wastewater generated by the building has been reduced by 92 percent.
  • No CFCs or HCFCs were used in the building.
  • Recyclables are collected and stored.
  • Ninety-one percent of construction waste was diverted from landfill.
  • Twelve and a half percent of materials were manufactured and extracted regionally.
  • A permanent carbon dioxide monitoring system has been installed in the building.
  • Low-emitting materials were used in the construction process including adhesives and sealants, composite wood and laminate adhesives, and carpets.
  • All regularly occupied areas are day-lit.

The LEED Canada Rating Systems are promoted by the Canada Green Building Council to encourage and facilitate the development of more sustainable buildings.

Construction on Energy House began in November 2009, and was completed in April 2011. The facility was in use for regular programming for students in September 2011; the official opening was held in October 2011, with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and British Columbia Premier Christy Clark in attendance.

As part of its clean energy programming, NLC offers the only internationally-certified Wind Turbine Maintenance Technician program in British Columbia.

For more information on NLC programs and services, visit our website, contact the nearest campus, or call 1.866.INFO.NLC.

For additional information about the Energy House, contact Brad Lyon, Executive Director, Communications, Northern Lights College.