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Platinum green: The sustainable design features of EEEL

March 18, 2020

After an intensive review process the Energy Environment Experiential Learning (EEEL) Centre at the University of Calgary recently received LEED Platinum Certification.

EEEL responds to the necessity for modern, high-quality undergraduate learning environments at Canada’s premier university campuses. The new facility, which opened September 2011 at the University of Calgary, is student centric and allows for hands-on and experiential learning opportunities in individual and collaborative settings. The building provides instructional space for expanded programs in energy and environment, new laboratories for biology and chemistry, as well as space for the Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment, and Economy’s (ISEEE) administrative centre.

EEEL uses architectural, engineering, and sustainable design strategies to increase energy efficiency now and anticipate future climate change.  These strategies include:

  • Building orientation
  • Triple glazed high performance curtain wall with operable shutters and fixed sunshades
  • Occupancy and daylight sensors
  • Earth tubes to precondition ventilation air in main floor theatre
  • Hot water radiant heating panels that function as light shelves
  • Heat pipes with air to air heat recovery units
  • Localized displacement ventilation units
  • Radiant chilled slabs
  • Cogeneration power and thermal energy that can handle 59% of the campus peak electrical load
  • Multiple fan array ventilation units to provide energy savings, system redundancy, and increased space efficiency
  • Highly efficient full cut-off landscape lighting fixtures to reduce light pollution
  • An interactive display shows real time energy and water consumption as well as other sustainable aspects of the project
  • Daylighting
  • Careful material selection – local, recycled, and harvested sustainably, and FSC wood
  • Rainwater from the roof is supplemented with raw river water for toilet flushing

These strategies have contributed to significant reductions in energy, water, and materials:

  • 64% potable water savings from efficient water use strategies
  • 60% energy savings compared to the ASHRAE 90.1 1999 energy standard
  • 98% FSC certified wood
  • 27.0% regional materials
  • 17.8% recycled materials
  • 75.1% construction waste recycled
  • 45% of occupied spaces are within 7 metres of operable windows
  • Daylighting and light controls equate to 35% energy savings of the total building consumption
  • 68% energy cost savings