Posted on June 2, 2014 by Tia Lalani

The University of Alberta’s newest building is officially one of the institution’s greenest.

Feature-CPACGreenGlobesThe University of Alberta’s newest building is officially one of the institution’s greenest.

The Camrose Performing Arts Centre (CPAC) on Augustana Campus earned four Green Globes™, the highest level of achievement under the Green Globes™ green building certification system.

“We have reached our goal of creating a world-class performance venue that has in addition been designed and constructed with leading-edge sustainability as a goal,” said Michael Madsen, Senior Project Manager with the University of Alberta.

The CPAC is a 550-seat theatre, planned and built as a joint initiative between the City of Camrose, Camrose County, the Government of Alberta and the University of Alberta.

Four Green Globes™ (the highest grade) are awarded to projects demonstrating national leadership and excellence in the practice of energy, water and environmental efficiency to reduce environmental impacts.

“It was important to challenge the accepted norms, in this case, that performing arts centres are difficult to make sustainable. The design build team was challenged to look beyond their usual sustainability toolkit to emerging and maturing technologies while at the same time minimizing risks,” said Madsen.

“Four Green Globes™ is an incredible achievement for any building project, let alone for this type of a facility,” said Madsen.

Leadership in environmental-friendly design

One maturing technology that features prominently in the CPAC’s finished construction is an innovative new solar panel installation. Instead of placing solar panels on the roof, the walls of CPAC’s 70-foot fly tower have solar panels built into them. This “building-integrated photovoltaic” system includes about 500 modules that generate 130 kilowatts of clean electricity—the largest array of its kind in Canada.

CPAC is also one of the first theatres in North America to use exclusively Light Emitting Diode (LED) stage lighting. Compared to traditional incandescent lights, LEDs are more energy efficient, turn on instantly, are dimmable, can change colours on command, and are expected to last tens of thousands more hours. These qualities make them especially useful for the stage, in addition to their environmental benefits.

LEDs are also used throughout the building for interior and exterior lighting. Depending on the cost of electricity off the grid, the LED stage lighting could save $30,000 to $35,000 each year, according to Michael Versteege, Manger, Energy Management Program.

Funding for these sustainability features is provided through the University of Alberta’s Envisionprogram, which will recover their investment from cost-savings on energy-use and renewable energy production.

Altogether, Versteege anticipates that the sustainable features the university has invested in the CPAC will result in at least $50,000 per year of savings.

This initiative is one of many ways the University of Alberta is following through on their sustainability plan goal of continuing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through action on energy efficiency and conservation, as well as implementation of renewable and alternative energy.

Green from foundation to fly-tower

Madsen emphasizes that even without harnessing these emerging and maturing technologies, the design-build team already had several innovative sustainability features in the plans.

“Although the project has achieved four Green Globes™, the base design criteria we were aiming for was already three Green Globes™. This required many sustainable measures including a high-efficiency building envelope, low energy consumption, low water use and green building practices to name a few,” said Madsen.

After more than two years of planning and construction, the CPAC will open with a string of community-oriented events in Fall 2014.

“Personally this project has been an exceptional experience for me,” said Madsen. “The passion and attitude that the Design-Build Team brought to the project and the willingness of the project partners to allow us to design and build ‘outside the box’ enabled real innovation in the CPAC’s design.”

CPAC sustainability features

Under floor distribution of air allows for reduced HVAC capacity as the conditioned air is delivered more directly to users.

Polished concrete floors minimize resource use and are long-lasting, requiring little maintenance.

Upgraded insulation in the building envelope makes heating and cooling more efficient. This benefit is increased further with the installation of a high-efficiency chiller and boiler.

130 kW building-integrated photovoltaic solar panels produce clean electricity throughout the year.

Energy-efficient LED lighting on stage and throughout the building saves $30,000 to $35,000 per year.

Green Globes

Green Globes™ is comparable alternative to the well-known LEED® green building certification system. It is increasingly popular as it is an efficient and cost-effective way to achieve superior performance in new buildings.


Posted in Augustana Campus, Featured, Fine Arts, Sustainability. | Permalink

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