While new information from the US Green Building Council indicates that the development of green schools can dramatically improve the performance of students at any age, the role the actual structure plays in the actual education of the student has been quite limited until recently.
Now, in higher educational facilities across the globe, buildings are taking on a more important role than ever before. Instead of simply learning in them, students can now learn from the spaces they study in.
A prime example of this is the Algonquin Centre for Construction Excellence located in Ottawa. Labelled a ‘living laboratory’ by college president Kent MacDonald, the LEED Platinum certified building aids in imparting a cutting edge education by allowing students to work in a completely holistic environment.
“The Algonquin Centre for Construction Excellence is a model of sustainable development,” MacDonald said. “The building functions as a living laboratory which supports the learning of our students in a way unlike any other post-secondary institution in Canada.”
The building will cater to a diverse range of would-be industry professionals from builders to plumbers, civil engineers and interior designers.
The development has been designed to foster collaboration. As such, the structure offers up 190,000 square feet of its interior layout to promote communication and collaborative working in addition to cross-program learning.
Students will learn from the actual structure, with certain design and system elements exposed in order to offer hands-on insight and practice into cutting edge industry works.
The building that leads by example in more ways than one. In addition to learning from the very workings of their own building, students will have their productivity boosted by high Indoor Environmental Quality features such as a stunning five-storey bio-wall.
Exterior green features include a green roof, solar panels and a storm water recovery system. According to Thomas Mueller of the Canadian Green Building Council, the building will play an extremely important role in shaping the industry professionals of tomorrow.
“I am very pleased to congratulate the Algonquin Centre for Construction Excellence for earning LEED Platinum status,” Mueller said. “It is a truly remarkable building not just for its environmental achievements, but as a tangible example to the students who learn within its walls. Through this building, Algonquin College champions sustainability on campus and shows leadership to the surrounding community.”
The building is a prime example of the forward-thinking sustainable efforts that look at green building efforts as a long-term, standard practice industry model.