Okanagan College educates and trains over 20,000 students a year. The 6,000-square-meter expansion of the Trades Training Facility celebrates the tradespeople at OC. It’s meant to be a source of pride for students and employees, while giving them the best possible education and a step up in their careers.  

This expansion will more than double capacity for students and apprentices, adding modernized shop space, storage and ancillary space and three 20-seat classrooms. We aligned this expansion with the college’s continuing quest to achieve the best in innovation, sustainable buildings and energy-efficient trades training.  

This project was the epitome of sustainable construction. The client prioritized sustainability, innovation and waste reduction. We used the Living Building Challenge and energy efficient modelling to realize OC’s sustainable design goals.  

A highlight of our sustainable construction journey was the inclusion of a “solar chimney.” We constructed windows within the atrium that linked to the building’s controls system, and this design improved the natural ventilation of the building using solar energy. Essentially, the sun heats the top of the atrium and the air within, and the ventilation created by opening and closing the windows can heat or cool the building. We greatly reduced the building energy use through this natural ventilation, and this helped OC achieve their sustainability goals. We also implemented the Living Building Challenge for this project, further supporting OC’s request to be energy neutral throughout construction. Our environment-conscious construction landed this project a LEED platinum certification.  

We have a longstanding partnership with Okanagan College and have successfully completed multiple other projects for them in recent years. OC students will receive a higher level of education thanks to this world class facility, resulting in more skilled tradespeople entering the B.C. workforce. 

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