Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 60.39
Liaison Christina Olsen
Submission Date March 30, 2021

STARS v2.2

British Columbia Institute of Technology
PRE-2: Points of Distinction

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete N/A
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name of the institution’s featured sustainability program, initiative, or accomplishment:
North Campus Infrastructure Project

A brief description of the institution’s featured program, initiative, or accomplishment:

The North Campus Infrastructure Project (NCIP) at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) in Burnaby, British Columbia, is an ambitious and forward-thinking initiative that leverages the opportunity of infrastructure replacement to advance sustainability at BCIT and the surrounding community.

The NCIP originated with the need to replace a major power receiving substation for BCIT’s Burnaby campus, which was at risk of failure, and to create a new connection to the local electrical utility, BC Hydro. However, this large-scale project became a unique opportunity not just to replace the infrastructure but to take a systems-level view of the campus and its future, and to integrate institutional goals to be a leader in community and campus engagement, climate resilience and environmental responsibility.

The project’s holistic approach and expanded scope led to improvements that include: climate adaptation elements, enhanced outdoor gathering spaces, additional bike lanes and pedestrian greenways, as well as support for increased energy conservation and resilience through BCIT’s collaboration with BC Hydro to design and construct Canada’s first Smart Power Microgrid.

BCIT chose to use the Envision framework for sustainable infrastructure to guide the $46.9 million project, while prioritizing an integrated design process and ongoing engagement of key stakeholders through existing campus plan consultations and project-specific feedback. As a result of this initiative, BCIT became Canada’s first education-sector recipient of the Envision Gold award for sustainable infrastructure.

Source: BCIT’s Sustainable Infrastructure Project wins Envision Gold AASHE Case Study written by Colin Chan, Energy and Greenhouse Gas Manager, Daniel Clement, Director, Facilities Services and Shelby Tay, Engagement Specialist, Sustainability.


Which of the following impact areas does the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Public Engagement
Coordination & Planning

Website URL where more information about the accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
IN 49 Innovation C, AC 8

A photograph or document associated with the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment:
Name of a second highlighted sustainability program/initiative/accomplishment:
Diversity Circles - An Indigenous Framework

A brief description of the second program/initiative/accomplishment:

BCIT’s Diversity Circles is an initiative housed in the BCIT Respect, Diversity, and Inclusion Office. Diversity Circles holds panels, workshops, focus groups, and other events for the BCIT community, to support engaging in safe and productive conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Diversity Circles events are open to all members of the wider BCIT community including staff, faculty, students, the BCIT Student Association, and BCIT alumni, as well as inviting guests from industry and other stakeholders to participate. Since 2015, Diversity Circles has held over 150 events and consultations.

Diversity Circles was launched following extensive consultation with Indigenous knowledge holders who helped the team develop an Indigenous framework and who still guide the team in supporting dialogue about diversity, inclusion, and equity.

At its core, the “Diversity Circles Framework” provides an alternative to "outcome-based" or deficit models where individuals who don’t “fit in” are “weeded out.” In contrast, a strengths-based model allows individuals to recognize and share their own strengths and gifts with the community.

Diversity Circles events connect people, flatten hierarchies, and create safe spaces for sometimes difficult, but very important conversations.

Aaron “Splash” Nelson-Moody, Diversity Circles mentor, Coast Salish artist, and carver of BCIT's House Post, created the Diversity Circles logo. In Aaron's words, "The red colour we call temlh; it represents the blood of the earth or the blood of the cedar tree so it’s a sacred colour for us here in Coast Salish territory. You could say it is sort of an inner strength. It’s not completely explained in Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and hard to translate into English but I think it refers to the inner strength that we all have. I drew out some elements of the house post into this logo. We wanted to draw on the elements of the house post and reflect on the strong values that hold up the house of BCIT."

Which impact areas does the second program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Campus Engagement
Diversity & Affordability
Wellbeing & Work

Website URL where more information about the second program/initiative/accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the second program/initiative/accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
IN 47 Innovation A, EN3, EN 9

A photograph or document associated with the second program/initiative/accomplishment:
Name of a third highlighted program/initiative/accomplishment:
Learning Centre for Zero Energy Buildings

A brief description of the third program/initiative/accomplishment:

In 2017, the Province of British Columbia (BC) made a commitment to achieve net-zero energy-ready buildings by 2032 through the BC Energy Step Code (Step Code). In short, the Step Code identifies energy-efficiency targets for builders and designers with an overall goal to create long-term energy-efficient buildings. Net-zero energy buildings have the ability to produce as much energy as the building consumes over the period of a year, such as through rooftop solar panels.

The Learning Centre for Zero Energy Buildings (ZEB) was launched in 2018 to support the construction industry with transitioning to the new Step Code and new City of Vancouver Zero Emissions Building bylaws. It offers a full suite of courses that are short and hands-on for construction industry professionals to upgrade their skills to meet the new codes. ZEB offers courses at BCIT (at the High Performance Building Lab), courses on the road (with our lab-in-a-box kit) and more recently online (to adapt to the new COVID-19 reality).

The High Performance Building Lab is the first of its kind in Canada. It was developed to provide hands-on training in zero energy buildings using an envelope-first approach. With three integrated zones, a two story teaching house to practice on indoors, two dozen mock-ups and practice walls, the lab creates space for education that will elevate the state of practice of high performance buildings in BC.

In 2019, on United Nations World Habitat Day, ZEB launched an interactive Zero Energy Building exhibit at Telus Science World in Vancouver. This interactive science exhibit on ZEBs is a unique means to get a typically less engaged audience excited about much needed high performance buildings. The exhibit has been temporarily relocated to the Burnaby campus and it will visit various locations in Metropolitan Vancouver in 2021.

Which impact areas does the third program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Public Engagement

Website URL where more information about the third program/initiative/accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the third program/initiative/accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
IN-48: Innovation B

A photograph or document associated with the third program/initiative/accomplishment:
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.