Centre for the Built Environment
The Centre for the Built Environment (CBE), located at Waterfront Campus, is a “living”, learning and research lab for students, staff and industry.The exterior living wall has 24 plant species and 7,000 plants including begonias, daylilies, hostas, horsetail, bunchberry, winterberry and ferns.CBE uses wind, solar and geothermal energy. These renewable sources provide power to this already highly energy efficient building.The CBE has a geothermal field with 36 wells. Each well is 152 meters deep and together they provide 100 per cent of the building's cooling and 50 per cent of the building's heating needs.A Bioswale is a gently-sloped ditch lined with grass and plants. It is a natural filter used to clean storm water run-off. As water flows over the sloped soil, the plants filter out contaminants.The outdoor spot is an extension of the Applied Energy Research Lab and is mostly used to teach students about sustainable energy technologies.The bench, which has a solar charging station for phones, was built by students using wood harvested during the construction of the CBE.
Students, faculty, business partners and industry collaborate here to generate solutions to real-world problems using the power of technology, creativity, imagination and innovation.
With an emphasis on sustainable building practices, environmental stewardship and collaborative learning, the Centre for the Built Environment (CBE) represents a new educational model. The CBE brings together trades and technologies to create change in the built environments of the future.
Learning from a 'living building'
The CBE, located at our Waterfront Campus, is an example of restorative building design, blending elements of the 'natural' environment with the 'built' environment to ensure the building and its operations do not contribute to environmental harm. In addition to features like a green roof, living walls, solar and wind energy, and geothermal systems, the CBE is designed to the standards of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, as a living, learning and research lab for students, staff and industry.
Collaboration within a sustainable energy showcase
Our focus is to create learning environments that enable students to collaborate on projects, see first-hand how building systems function and access the latest in alternative energy technologies. Equipped with advanced skills and knowledge about sustainable practices, NSCC graduates will lead the way in raising awareness about environmental stewardship in the workplace and transform their communities in the future.
Creating a greener energy future together
Cultivating environmental knowledge and sustainable building practices is a responsibility we all share. NSCC's educational model and facilities serve as catalysts for change in Nova Scotia and beyond. The open and collaborative approach that we offer at the CBE will extend to other NSCC campuses and initiatives, and into the broader community.
- 120,000 square feet, including an outdoor construction pavilion
- Large operable doors create flexible work spaces, allowing various trades to work together
- Environmental features include solar thermal panels, planted rooftops and livings walls
- Designed as a living test bed - the CBE will evolve as new technologies are developed, tested and proven
- Geothermal system meets the cooling needs of the building and provides approximately 50% of heating requirements
- The building is designed with the capacity for rooftop photovoltaic panels (using solar energy) to generate some of the energy requirements
- Shop facilities and public spaces use natural ventilation
- Solar wall cladding naturally preheats ventilation air that is supplied to the building
- Interior living walls, planted from floor-to-ceiling with plants that act as natural air filters
- Green roof reduces heating and cooling costs, and storm water runoff, as well as increasing roof life
- Focal point to help the Nova Scotia construction industry develop leading-edge environmental knowledge and sustainable practices that are in growing demand worldwide
- Learn more about the Centre for the Built Environment » (PDF 5.32MB)