University of Victoria News
UVic has earned a Gold rating for the third time since 2014 with the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS), a self-reporting framework for colleges and universities administered by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.
UVic’s 2020 score of 80.17 improved almost five points on the 2017 score (76.79) and is valid for up to three years. A contributing factor to UVic’s most recent rating was a focus on sustainable building design and construction for new buildings.
Since 2007, all nine new campus buildings have been constructed to the LEED Gold sustainability standard, which results in reduced energy use, less waste and carbon emissions during construction, and lower storm water flows. Eight of the buildings have already received LEED Gold certification, while the District Energy Plant–completed in winter 2019–is expected to be certified later this year.
In 2019, UVic replaced its aging heating infrastructure with the District Energy Plant. “The new plant will ensure the university is able to accommodate future load growth and provide long-term reliable and cost-effective operations,” says Ron Proulx, executive director of Facilities Management. “It provides flexibility for future expansion and connections to buildings that are not currently part of the loop, as well as options for integrating renewable energy systems.”
Sustainability features of the District Energy Plant include: