University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) – Bio Energy Building
The LEED Platinum Certified UNBC biomass project integrates campus operations with research teaching and community development. The UNBC Bio-Energy project was selected as the #1 Campus Sustainability Project in North America by the Association for the Advancement in Higher Education. The Bio-energy Plant began heating buildings on the Prince George campus in March, 2011. The facility uses sawmill residue provided by Lakeland Mills of Prince George. Approximately 4,100 tonnes of hog fuel were used in 2012, producing 62,000 gigajoules of energy, and offsetting close to 90% of UNBC’s fossil fuel consumption for heating the buildings connected to the district energy system.
In addition to exemplary emission reduction and energy and water saving measures, a number of design and construction initiatives improved the LEED ranking: designing the building footprint to reduce the overall construction site size; reducing negative impacts on water and air quality through the use of erosion control strategies; achieving highest levels of indoor environmental quality pre- and post-occupancy by flushing the building with 100% fresh air prior to occupancy, installing low-emitting materials and finishes, providing various means of light, airflow and temperature controllability and providing ample daylight and views; minimizing light pollution by eliminating up-lighting and controlling light spillage; and reducing the “heat island” effect by using light-coloured roofing materials.