Okanagan College and UBC Okanagan Working Together to Build a Greener Future
From sharing new ideas in smart energy use to envisioning what the buildings of tomorrow will look like, a new partnership by Okanagan College and the University of British Columbia Okanagan’s School of Engineering is laying the foundation for a greener future.
Jim Hamilton, President of Okanagan College and Dr. Deborah Buszard, Deputy Vice Chancellor and Principal of UBC’s Okanagan campus, met at the College’s Penticton campus today to sign a letter of cooperation outlining how the institutions will work together – and with industry, government and community members – to spark new research and create new hands-on practical training opportunities for students.
The letter of cooperation in green construction research and training 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 are at a critical turning point in the future of the planet,” says Buszard. “Green construction research that begins here in the Okanagan will generate new techniques, technologies, and materials that could have national or global impact. Through this new collaboration, UBC researchers, working side-by-side with faculty and students from the College, will develop solutions that help bridge the gap from where we are today to the greener future we seek for tomorrow.”
“In strengthening our partnership in this way, we’re seeking to enrich and diversify the educational experiences for students, drawing from the considerable knowledge and expertise the College and the University bring to the table,” explains Hamilton.
“This enhanced cooperation is going to help us continue to educate the skilled workers who will raise the bar, invent new and better ways of doing things and continue to build our communities more sustainably.”
At the College, the collaboration will see students and faculty from a variety of technology programs engaged, while also developing the connections between technologies and trades, as the College continues to educate those who design and construct the buildings of the future.
Another goal will be to build on the work both institutions have done to establish the region as a hub for innovation in advancing sustainable construction. Both institutions have several examples of work done to create greener learning and working environments on their campuses and have worked with various groups of students to support and develop green initiatives.
The letter of cooperation outlines a joint commitment to explore the creation of a Green Construction Research and Training Centre (GCRTC) in the Okanagan. Such a centre would see researchers working to create innovative, low-cost, and reliable construction and retrofitting solutions to achieve healthy, resilient, and environmentally sustainable infrastructure.