Green building seeks efficiencies in energy, water and materials use, through better design and construction, more efficient operations, and proper materials re-use and disposal at the end of a building’s life cycle. In addition to the positive environmental impacts of green building, an organization’s operating costs can be substantially reduced, and human health can be improved through better indoor air quality and reduced levels of toxic substances in the building process.
In recent years, Dalhousie has been building with green features in mind. In September 2010, Dalhousie open the doors of its newest and greenest building, the Mona Campbell building (or New Academic Building). The Office of Sustainability has recently sponsored the production of an informative five minute video about the building highlighting its many green features:
The film was produced by Water Street West Entertainment.
Among the green features of the building are:
- bike racks on the perimeter of the building and in the basement
- a shower room and lockers for use of cyclists
- cistern to collect non-potable water
- organic food selections at Topio’s, a pizza counter on the first floor
- 85 heat pumps to recirculate heat from different parts of the building
- high-efficiency lighting with sensors that detect when a room is in use or not
- FSC-certified maple paneling
- “OptiNet” air quality sensors that measure humidity, carbon dioxide and small particles
- recycling and organics bins on each floor
- low-flo fixtures in the bathrooms
- rainwater collected from the roof and gutters is used to flush toilets
- “Bubbledeck” technology used, a construction method that uses fewer materials and energy than traditional methods
- “green” roof, planted with drought-resistant sedum and grasses
- solar wall, about 200 metres square, to preheat ventilation air.
For more information about the building, please check out this DalNews article.