New George Brown Green Building Centre supports sustainable construction and engineering sectors

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GTA Construction Report staff writer

George Brown College has opened a new Green Building Centre, to support Canada’s growing green and smart building market. The new applied research facility is training students in advanced construction systems, green energy and computer-enabled, efficient buildings while simultaneously creating space for industry partners to conduct full-scale development projects focused on construction practices that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient.

“The Green Building Centre’s unique focus on applied research in sustainable construction is preparing our students to become the highly qualified and skilled leaders this growing field needs,” said Laura Jo Gunter, the college’s senior vice-president, academic. “As graduates they will be ready to advance Canada’s entrepreneurial and competitive edge both nationally and internationally.”

Located within George Brown’s Centre for Construction and Engineering Technologies, the facility will enable an estimated 160 research projects with industry partners in its first five years, and has already created nearly 60 jobs. It offers industry much needed space for innovation, research, development, testing and compliance allowing partners to create new products that will have a lasting impact on the community.

The building is supported by a $6.6-million Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) contribution, matched by George Brown’s own investment of $6.8 million.

The grand opening in early November “means that our Government’s investment will make it possible for further research and product testing in areas like energy-efficient buildings to take place, while creating jobs and prosperity in southern Ontario,” said Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for FedDev Ontario. “I’d like to congratulate George Brown College on their achievement.”

The Green Building Centre includes a number of innovative new labs for students to work alongside industry partners on projects throughout a building’s life cycle – from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation and demolition. These state-of-the-art spaces include:

  • Building Materials Lab which provides a test site and demonstration space to refine prototypes and test innovative green building systems, materials and technologies in a realistic setting.
  • Building Automation Lab to test products that make buildings “smarter” and more energy efficient.
  • Building Information Modeling Lab equipped with LiDAR scanners, allowing for more accurate 3D scans of buildings and sites which can be applied to the full life cycle of buildings.
  • Advanced Prototyping Lab outfitted with leading edge rapid prototyping tools including laser and water jet cutters and 3D printer, used to prototype and iterate sustainable new technologies.
  • Building Sciences lab equipped with humidity and temperature chambers, a specimen convection oven and a rooftop test hut structure for research on materials used to improve the energy efficiency of buildings.
  • Business Accelerator and Entrepreneurship Space which provides industry partners with space and facilities to work alongside George Brown faculty and students to develop and monitor projects and track emerging international trends.

As part of its focus on ensuring the innovation economy has the right skills, George Brown has made it a mission to support and advance industry- and community-problem solving through excellence in applied research, commercialization and scholarship. The college also provides enhanced training programs to ensure that more job-ready graduates enter the market and advance the building sector’s adoption of new approaches, methods, standards and technologies.

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