Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 46.94
Liaison Tanya Roberts
Submission Date Feb. 7, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Durham College
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Tanya Roberts
Sustainability Coordinator
Facilities Management
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Air & Climate?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Air & Climate:

On October 22, 2019 Durham College (DC) celebrated the completion of its geothermal field and grand opening of its Energy Innovation Centre (EIC), which together leverage clean, sustainable underground thermal energy for the heating and cooling of the college’s Gordon Willey building. Durham College also received $27,500 from Siemens Canada through the Siemens Empower Sustainable Education Program to help further assist DC in applied learning student opportunities.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Buildings?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Buildings:

The Durham College Energy Innovation Centre (EIC) facility provides an exhibit-like atmosphere where visitors can learn more about how the geothermal system works through signage and interactive touch screen monitors that feature system diagrams and performance metrics. Additionally, a real-time energy dashboard provides insight on campus energy savings and the reduction of associated greenhouse gas emissions.

This project is part of the ongoing transformation of DC’s energy infrastructure to support and implement sustainability focused initiatives on campus. This past year, the college’s Centre for Collaborative Education achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design® (LEED®) Gold level certification.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Energy?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Energy:

The geothermal field and Energy Innovation Centre (EIC) project is part of the ongoing transformation of Durham College’s (DC) energy infrastructure to support and implement sustainability focused initiatives on campus.

Located underground at the Oshawa campus, DC’s geothermal field harnesses 550 tons (1.9 megawatts) clean, sustainable geothermal power, which is then processed through the EIC and sent to the Gordon Willey building to fuel its energy needs.

The bright, modern EIC also provides an exhibit-like atmosphere where students and visitors can learn more about how the geothermal system works through interactive touch screen monitors, which features system diagrams and performance metrics. Additionally, a real-time energy dashboard provides insight on campus energy savings and the reduction of associated greenhouse gas emissions.

The EIC also acts as a living lab, allowing faculty from selected programs to incorporate geothermal technology into their curriculum and provides students with a unique experiential learning opportunity as they observe how green-energy technologies work.

The geothermal field and EIC were completed in partnership with Siemens Canada, who provided valuable industry knowledge and contributed as the primary contractor for the project.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Food & Dining?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Food & Dining:

Focused on the field-to-fork concept, the W. Galen Weston Centre For Food (CFF) opened to students in September 2013. Home to a range of complementary programs, the Centre boasts numerous sustainable features and extensive grounds including an apple orchard, agricultural planting fields and a ramped garden feature with a pollinator garden and two-acre arboretum, providing a teaching and learning environment for students, the local agri-food industry, community organizations and the general public. In addition, the grounds include an unheated hoop house, gardens and greenhouses that support applied learning and research while growing produce for use in the Centre’s kitchens and laboratories. The CFF also features Bistro ’67, a full-service, teaching-inspired restaurant, and Pantry, a unique retail store for student-created goods, which are both open to the public

Field-to-fork is a concept based on the harvesting, storage, processing, packaging, sale and consumption of food – in particular the production of local food for local consumers.

Durham College has adopted this concept and applied it to a diverse range of programs that crossover traditional academic schools with the curriculum, faculty expertise and equipment required to implement field to fork built into several of the college’s programs.

The Green Restaurant Association has recognized the CFF’s sustainability efforts by rating it a 3 Star Certified Green Restaurant Association facility.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Grounds?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Grounds:

In 2019, the W. Garfield Weston Foundation (the Foundation) donated $1 million to fund the expansion of farming operations at the W. Galen Weston Centre for Food (CFF) to support experiential learning opportunities for DC students.

The CFF’s grounds include an apple orchard, a large urban garden, raised beds a hoop house where small fruits, vegetables and herbs are grown using production methods with low environmental impact, water stewardship and reduced energy consumption, two greenhouses and a growth chamber.

The following fresh produce was grown and harvested by students in 2019:

• 2,694 kg or 5,939 (6,000) ;) lbs of fruit and veg
• Over 1,000 bunches of Herbs and Leafy Greens
• Over 100 L of edible flowers
• Over 500 bouquets of Flowers
• 137 kg of Microgreens
• 755 kg of Tomatoes
• 106 L of Honey

Other food commodities used onsite at the CFF are sourced from local producers, where feasible.

The south side of the building includes a ramped garden feature with a pollinator garden for native birds, bees and butterflies. This has proved to be a draw for elementary and secondary schools that wish to plant pollinator gardens as part of their science curriculum. Native plants are used to provide nectar, pollen, larval food and habitat. Milkweed plants, started in the greenhouse and transplanted into the pollinator garden, provide habitat for monarch butterflies, which are dwindling in numbers due to environmental impacts.

Development of the CFF grounds continues. The first half of the Foundation’s donation will go towards building the post-harvest conditioning and storage facility in the spring of 2019. This will improve the CFF’s process operations and farm work flows and provide for long-term storage of produce, while also minimizing food waste. Once completed, the grant will further support greenhouse expansion to increase space and allow for more students, plants and projects, and introduce innovative container farming to allow for small-scale agriculture and year-round growing. The additions will also increase the supply of fresh food coming directly to the CFF’s culinary programs and its business operations, Bistro ’67, Pantry and special events.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Purchasing?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Purchasing:

Bistro ’67 has received a Feast On™ designation. Sponsored by the Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance, Feast On is a criteria-based program that promotes restaurants and other businesses that showcase Ontario’s unique, locally produced food and beverages: https://ontarioculinary.com/feast-on/about/


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Transportation?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Transportation:

Bicycle racks are located at the Whitby campus, as well as an EV charging station, which is accessible to all Whitby campus students, including those studying at CFF.

In 2018, the college became a Smart Commute Gold Workplace designation in recognition of the college’s continuous commitment to promoting and supporting sustainable travel options for students and employees.

To achieve gold, organizations must demonstrate innovation, a higher effort and significant resources dedicated to reducing the number of people who drive alone and instead actively choose a better transit option such as walking, biking, transit, carpooling or telework.

DC was recognized as an outstanding workplace for initiatives such as having electric vehicle charging stations on campus, parking spots for carpool vehicles with cost-sharing incentives, end-of-trip bike facilities and the Universal Transit Pass that gives full-time students unlimited use of Durham Region Transit.

Prior to achieving gold, DC received the silver-level designation in 2016 in recognition of its ongoing effort to promote sustainable travel options for getting to and from campus.

Smart Commute is a transportation program of Metrolinx, with the support of local municipalities, which aims to reduce traffic congestion in order to improve air quality, provide more sustainable travel options and reduce commuting costs.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Waste?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Waste:

The CFF has implemented an on-site composting station. Re-purposed food is used for food sold in the pantry and students are taught techniques to reduce food waste.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Water?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Water:

The Centre for Food includes an energy star dishwasher, pre-rinse sprayer, low flush toilets and touchless sensor faucets, as well as a waterless urinal.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Coordination & Planning?:
No

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Coordination & Planning:
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Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Diversity & Affordability?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Diversity & Affordability:

The Office of Student Diversity, Inclusion and Transitions is dedicated to ensuring that Durham College students feel welcomed and supported on our vibrant campus by providing a variety diverse and comprehensive programs designed to foster both academic and social growth.

The Office of Student Diversity, Inclusion and Transitions at Durham College promotes respect, and maintains and advocates for an inclusive campus for all students regardless of race, gender, religion, gender identity or expressions, ethnic background, socio-economic class, ability or sexual orientation.

The CFF includes all gender washrooms and sexual violence awareness signage that can be found across campus.

Support is available to all students

http://www.durhamcollege.ca/services/services-for-students/office-of-student-diversity-inclusion-and-transitions


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Investment & Finance?:
No

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Investment & Finance:
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Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Public Engagement?:
No

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Public Engagement:
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Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Wellbeing & Work?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Wellbeing & Work:

Durham College is committed to providing opportunities to enhance the health and well being of its employees. The wellness program includes health seminars, screening clinics, newsletters, enhanced fitness programs and increased awareness of general health issues.

The wellness program was developed to meet the interests and concerns expressed by employees through the Health Risk and Productivity Assessment. The program is committed to offering Durham College employees opportunities to increase their level of awareness and activity through a variety of workshops, challenges and much more.

Wellness Program Offerings

Durham College is committed to our employees’ health and well-being. To support this, Human Resources offers programming throughout the year that focuses on nutrition, self-care, fitness and weight management.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to other areas (e.g. arts & culture or technology)?:
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A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to other areas:
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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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