Selkirk College’s Castlegar Campus is bringing their ventilation system up to compliance with current BC Building Code requirements, thanks to funding of $1.88 million through the federal and provincial Knowledge Infrastructure Program.
In June, 2009, the college received $1.88 million through the Knowledge Infrastructure Program (KIP) for the replacement of its existing heating and ventilating (HVAC) system. The replacement is required to improve the system’s energy efficiency and ventilation and to increase summer programming capacity at the college.
Once the installation is complete, the system will be in compliance with the current BC Building Code and its energy conservation measures, which were amended in 2008.
Director of Facilities and Maintenance, Steve Podovennikoff, is looking forward to the implementation of the system. “This initiative is closely aligned with our strategic direction of Environmental Sustainability, which places an emphasis on implementing practices to promote a healthy environment for our students and staff,” he explained. “The new efficiencies put in place by the HVAC system will be of great benefit to the college and community as a whole.”
The three campus wings currently undergoing renovation—Monashee, Granite and Upper Bonnington—were never air conditioned in the past, with the exception of local cooling systems located in the computer server and computer lab areas. The current mechanical systems renovations will provide air conditioning for all currently non-conditioned classroom and lab areas in an energy efficient manner and will also provide appropriate ventilation (i.e., exhaust and replacement make-up air) throughout.
Despite the ventilation capacity increase and the expansion of the existing campus-wide chilled water cooling system for the three building blocks, there will be a 0% increase in Selkirk's carbon footprint. This is largely due to the innovative HVAC system design that incorporates an overall chilled water cooling system without the use of refrigeration compressor bearing machinery. This, in combination with the heat recovery ventilation components and motorized economizers, permits free-cooling with outside air on cooler days and evenings, without having to operate the regular air conditioning system.
Of interest is that the chilled water cooling system incorporates the existing ground source well water system with relatively minor additions to the existing heat exchanger unit. Conservative estimates indicate that the new HVAC system will save at least 71% in energy costs compared to standard systems of equal capacities.
The above mentioned wings of Selkirk’s Castlegar Campus have been closed throughout the summer, with many staff having to gain access to their offices with the accompaniment of hard hats and steel-toed boots. Hopefully, this will not have to be endured for much longer as the goal is to have the HVAC system fully implemented and operational prior to the start of classes on September 8, 2009.
“All indications are showing that the contractor, Venture Mechanical, is on schedule,” said Podovennikoff. “I’m confident that the majority of the construction will be completed on time and that our students and staff will not be inconvenienced when classes begin.”
The KIP is a two-year, $2-billion economic stimulus measure to support infrastructure enhancement at post-secondary institutions across Canada. As part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the Program provides funding to support deferred maintenance, repair and expansion projects at universities and colleges, and responds directly to the need indicated by post-secondary institutions to improve existing campus infrastructure across the country.
For more information on the KIP, visit plandaction.gc.ca/initiatives.
First published on August 31, 2009