Skip to main content Skip to site utility navigation Skip to main site navigation Skip to site search Skip to footer

New campus promotes sustainability while supporting local

Solera wall at Sydney Waterfront Campus

In September 2024, the new Sydney Waterfront Campus will open its doors and welcome its first cohort of students. The 305,000 square foot campus will not only provide new technologies and enhanced spaces but will have a much lower carbon footprint than conventional buildings and will include a unique and sustainable product that is locally owned.

Built with sustainability

With each passing day, approximately 150 skilled trade professionals and apprentices - many of whom are NSCC Alumni and local to Sydney - are on site daily transforming blueprint plans into state-of-the-art learning spaces. From floor to ceiling, Sydney Waterfront Campus is being built with sustainability top of mind and has been designed to be net-zero ready (a balance between the amount of greenhouse gas that is produced and the amount that is removed from the atmosphere).

NSCC faculty standing in front of a NSCC campus, pleasantly looking up toward the sky
Michael Chapman, Manager, Infrastructure and Sustainability

Reducing the carbon footprint

Michael Chapman, Manager, Infrastructure and Sustainability says that most conventional buildings are responsible for 42% of all greenhouse gas emissions, but Sydney Waterfront Campus will have a much lower carbon footprint. “The campus will be very energy efficient, and heating and cooling will be 100% geothermal (generated from the earth),” he says.

Michael adds that NSCC is targeting LEED Gold standard – an international standard of sustainability excellence and green building leadership. “The new campus will showcase best practices for sustainable construction,” he says. From conserving water and energy to generating better air quality and utilizing natural light, Sydney Waterfront Campus will provide optimal learning conditions and help improve the quality of life for students and employees.


Interior image of Solera Wall
An interior image of the Solera wall at Sydney Waterfront Campus.

Solera Wall

Solera is a sustainable glazing product that has a positive impact on the environment by reducing or displacing the use of conventional energy. The Solera product, a highly insulated light diffusing glass, has been installed in a few places throughout the new campus. The product will not only help control overheating while allowing the benefits of natural sunlight, it is also manufactured in Sydney.

James Satterwhite, CEO of Advanced Glazings (AGL) says the Solera product has a very high insulation value, excellent light distribution and is more sustainable than traditional glazing. He says that while much of AGL’s market is international, such as northern European countries that have a similar climate as Nova Scotia, they were pleasantly surprised to learn that the new campus was considering the Solera product in their build. “Sustainability in buildings like NSCC is critical,” says James. “The Solera product will help protect and improve the health and wellness of those who work day to day in the building, and the thousands of students who will spend time there.” James says that Solera also contributes to environmental sustainability. “Solera has extreme thermal performance and light harvesting, both of which contribute substantially to sustainability mandates and targets. It also helps protect the environment for future generations,” he adds.

The Solera wall will be most noticeable to students and employees as they pass through the pedway that joins building B and C, as well as the Student Commons overlooking Sydney Harbour. 

A portrait image of Carla Arsenault
Carla Arsenault, Principal, NSCC Marconi Campus

Learning in a sustainable environment

Carla Arsenault, who will transition as the principal of NSCC Marconi Campus to the principal of the new Sydney Waterfront Campus, says sustainability is a key organizational value at NSCC and believes that students will benefit by learning in a sustainable building. “Sustainability is embedded in everything we do at NSCC, we integrate climate change in our programming and learning for all students,” she says. “Students attending Sydney Waterfront Campus will have an amplified learning opportunity as the entire campus has been designed with sustainability top of mind.”

Carla says the sustainability of the campus will contribute to the future success of the communities in which the students live and work. “The campus will not only have a positive impact on our planet but will have far-reaching environmental impacts as students go on to become leaders and innovators in our communities. They will be equipped to integrate climate change into their future workplaces, further contributing to environmental sustainability in our communities and on our planet."

View Sydney Waterfront Campus programs and apply today.