Green buildings

David Adams, Uvic's Energy Mananger, with the heat recovery air handling unit on the roof of the McKinnon Building
David Adams, Uvic's Energy Mananger, with the heat recovery air handling unit on the roof of the McKinnon Building


A campus where all facilities are built or renovated to meet current green building standards and act as physical tools of education for both the campus and broader community.

Sustainability action plan goals

  • Ensure all new buildings and major renovation projects achieve the standard of LEED Gold or equivalent certification
  • Utilize sustainable green building practices for all renovation and building construction projects that are below the threshold for mandatory LEED Gold or equivalent certification
  • Utilize sustainable operational and building maintenance practices in all campus buildings and facilities
  • Develop systems that provide for the reduction, measurement and reporting of construction and demolition waste
An aerial view of the David Turpin Building (DTB)
Michael Williams Building - Certified LEED Gold in 2011
Michael Williams Building - Certified LEED Gold in 2011

In the spring of 2006, UVic adopted sustainable development guidelines to assist decision making related to sustainability in new buildings and renovations.  These guidelines essentially provide options for meeting the academic mission of the university in a manner that is socially, economically and environmentally sustainable.

The guidelines promote green buildings, which emphasize responsible construction and building practices, feature recycled materials and renewable resources, minimize impacts on natural areas, accommodate more floor space within a smaller building footprint, utilize systems that emphasize water and energy conservation and efficiency, and enhance indoor environmental air quality.

First Peoples House.
First Peoples House.

Green building features

All UVic buildings built since 2006 include features such as:

  • Erosion and sediment control plans
  • Construction waste reduction plan that is designed to increase the amount of material reused and recycled and reduce the amount of waste sent for landfill disposal
  • Stormwater management approach using rainwater capture and on-site retention pond
  • Compact, efficient building with modest footprint
  • Natural ventilation system
  • Low-E reflective glazing to minimize heat gain on the south facade
  • Occupancy sensors in classrooms
  • Treated waste water re-use for toilets and urinals
  • Energy-efficient lighting
  • Green power investments to off-set building energy consumption
  • Green cleaning system
  • Water-saving plumbing fixtures, such as low-flow toilets and sensor faucets
  • Carpet made from recycled material
  • Sheet goods flooring made of marmoleum
  • On-site bike parking
  • Use of concrete with high fly-ash content
  • Use of permeable paving for access driveways
  • Centralized recycling stations
  • Native plant landscaping
  • No ozone-depleting refrigerants as part of the mechanical refrigeration plant
  • Cyclist shower and change room facilities
  • Close proximity to transit
  • Use of locally sourced building materials (especially concrete and fill)
  • Salvaging of topsoil to be used for other grounds projects
  • Use of permeable paving

Buildings constructed after 2009 will integrate additional green features as outlined in the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating program.

CARSA - LEED Gold Certified, 2017
CARSA - LEED Gold Certified, 2017

The Medical Sciences Building was the first building on campus to earn Gold level status in the LEED Green Building Rating System. 

The Engineering Computer Science Building, David Turpin Building, Michael Williams Building, the First Peoples House, Centre for Athletics, Recreation and Special Abilities (CARSA) and the South Tower residence have all since been certified LEED Gold.

Several UVic buidlings feature green roofs - roofs designed to support soil and plants.

The David Turpin Building has two green roofs and several patio gardens with sumac and maple trees, strawberries, roses and lawns of native meadow mix.  Grey water is used for watering.

The Engineering & Computer Science Building has a small (330 square meter) green roof and light-coloured gravel ballast (1200 square meters) was installed on the rest of the roof to reduce absorption of solar radiation by the building as well as minimize the heat island effect and reduce the cooling load within the building.

The First Peoples House has a green roof and storm retention pond.