University Residence Building Achieves LEED Gold

Friday, January 11, 2013

The South Tower residence building at the University of Victoria is the sixth campus facility to achieve national recognition for environmental design and sustainability.  On January 4, 2013, the Canada Green Building Council officially recognized the building with Gold-level certification in its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) New Construction green building program.  It is the first UVic residence building with LEED certification.

The 106-bed facility, located adjacent to parking lot 5 on the east side of campus, provides barrier-free rooms for disabled students, 84 dormitory-style rooms and 22 larger suites for graduate and mature students.  The project was completed well within the $13-million budget, and opened its doors to student residents in January 2011.

"We offer a guaranteed spot in residence for all first-year students entering UVic from high school, and this building helps us to respond to the high demand for on-campus accommodation," says Joel Lynn, Executive Director of Student Services.  "Research shows that living in residence helps students succeed both academically and socially."

Sustainability features of the six-storey South Tower, designed by Stantec Architecture and constructed on a former parking lot, include indoor bicycle storage, outdoor bike racks, efficient energy and water management measures, locally sourced and recycled materials, natural landscaping and enhanced indoor air quality.  During construction, 97 percent of the waste was diverted from the landfill.

"We are very pleased to have achieved LEED gold certification for a residence building," says David Perry, UVic's Director of Capital Development.  "In addition to the sustainability measures implemented during construction, the green cleaning program that started once the building was occupied has now been expanded to other residences."  The South Tower is also home to a sustainability-themed residence community where students participate in a program supporting their interests in sustainability and environmental issues.

UVic's Medical Sciences, Engineering/Computer Science, Social Sciences and Mathematics, Administrative Services buildings and First Peoples House previously achieved LEED gold status.  All major University of Victoria building projects incorporate sustainability initiatives, following the university's Sustainability Action Plan for Campus Operations: 2009-2014.