Malaspina leads the world in green buildings

December 15, 1996 - 4:00pm

Malaspina University-College's Nanaimo campus ranks as a world leader in the construction of environmentally friendly buildings.

Architect Terry Williams who spoke at the recent official openings of the new Education/Social Sciences building 356 and Developmental Education building 205, said, "Malaspina ranks with Norway as a world leader in the construction of environmentally sustainable buildings."

Williams, who has been Malaspina's architect since 1990, said that according to his colleagues in the United States, Malaspina is ten years ahead in its environmental approach to building design by using sophisticated architectural and engineering systems in its new and renovated buildings.

According to Dave Wadeson, director of physical plant, the factor that make Malaspina's buildings green is the use of high performance exterior glazing, which reduces heat gain in summer and heat loss in winter. As a result, no perimeter heating systems are required.

"By excluding solar gain, the need to air condition the interior of buildings has been substantially reduced and, in many cases, eliminated. As well, the high-performance glazing acts as a buffer to external noise," said Wadeson.

Williams said that Malaspina's new building exteriors incorporate light shelves designed to bounce natural daylight deep into classrooms, offices and laboratories which reduces the need for artificial light.

"This results in reduced energy costs and reduced heat gain within the building which further reduces cooling load and energy consumption," he said.

"Building 356, for instance, incorporates an overhead skylight with an interior courtyard to bring daylight into interior spaces. All of Malaspina's newest buildings incorporate opening window systems to enhance occupancy comfort and individual control over air quality. Newer buildings are built of heavy concrete which give large thermal capacities which cool at night, reducing high summer temperatures."

Malaspina adopted its holistic, environmentally sustainable approach to building design in 1990 when, under the direction of Edwin Deas, vice-president of administration & bursar, and Wadeson, the new facilities development plan for the Nanaimo campus was started. This was five years ahead of the Environmental Guidelines: BC University, College & Institute Facilities which was released in April 1995.

The guidelines are directed at design teams in the expectation that all new building projects and renovations will conform to high environmental standards and address the issues of energy efficiency, resource conservation, and occupant health and well-being. This holistic approach to planning and architectural, structural, mechanical and electrical systems results in more efficient, cost effective, low operating costs, and energy efficient buildings.

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