(Left) Jim Hamilton, president of OC, discusses the new collaboration with UBCO on green building initiatives within the two institutions. Jordyn Thomson/Western News

UBCO and Okanagan College to collaborate for green building initiatives

The two institutions want to make the region a hub for innovation in sustainable construction

The Okanagan College and University of B.C. Okanagan campus have announced a new collaboration in green construction, research and training.

Jim Hamilton, president of OC, and Dr. Deborah Buszard, deputy vice chancellor and principal of UBCO, signed a letter of co-operation at the Penticton campus on Oct. 25.

Related: Coldstream supports Okanagan College Campus residence project

According to the two institutions, the letter outlines a number of ways in which the institutions aim to collaborate, from developing shared capstone projects for students to establishing a speaker series in green construction and smart energy use.

“We’re here today to talk about the future — specifically how our two institutions can work together to take steps to ensure that it is a greener one,” said Hamilton. “This is very timely … because of the latest climate change update from the United Nations has informed us that we’re fast approaching a tipping point in our efforts to avoid disastrous and irreversible global warming.”

Hamilton noted that the building industry is responsible for “almost 30 per cent of green house gas emissions globally.” He said the institutions chose to hold the signing at the OC Penticton campus because the Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence “has been named one of the most sustainable college or university buildings in the country.”

“We are pretty proud of this building … but it was important to note that this building really keeps with the spirit of the agreement we’re signing,” said Hamilton. “We built this building with education and learning and change in mind.”

Related: Sparks set to fly in new Okanagan College welding facility

He also expressed pride in the fact that the newly opened daycare on campus is the “first and only daycare centre in Canada built to passive house standards.” This adds to the collaboration’s goal of making this region a “hub for innovation in advancing sustainable construction.”

“I know that a number of UBC facilities have been similarly praised for their innovation and sustainable design and construction,” said Hamilton. “So you could say that Okanagan College and UBC are leaders in this country in sustainability and it makes good sense that we work together to power our students and staff to continue to make advances in this area.”

Jim Hamilton, president of OC, and Dr. Deborah Buszard, deputy vice chancellor and principal of UBCO, sign a letter stating a new agreement between the two institutions that will focus on sustainable construction and green building. Jordyn Thomson/Western News

“I couldn’t be more delighted to be here to celebrate the aspect of the growing and continuing partnerships that we have in every area today,” said Buszard. “This is just the next step for our two growing institutions.”

According to the institutions, the collaboration will engage students and staff in a variety of technology programs as well as the trades “as the college continues to educate those who design and construct the buildings of the future.”

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Jordyn Thomson | Reporter

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