Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 49.70
Liaison Whitney Crooks
Submission Date April 27, 2012
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.1

Red River College Polytechnic
IN-1: Innovation 1

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Sara MacArthur
Sustainability Manager
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome :

In 2011, RRC constructed a new facility to enhance learning opportunities for students in the college’s Greenspace Management Program and to support applied research projects within the horticultural industry.

The facility, constructed with support from Canada’s Knowledge Infrastructure Program at a cost of just over $1-million, is located at RRC’s Notre Dame Avenue Campus. It consists of two new 160 m2 greenhouses, one conventional and the other passive solar, along with an adjacent landscape construction shop.

The conventional greenhouse serves as a baseline against which the performance of the passive solar greenhouse can be compared in terms of its energy use and the impact of its design on plant growth and management of the facility. This will address a critical gap in knowledge about how solar greenhouses perform in cold northern climates.

RRC is beginning a series of applied research projects to examine how the passive solar greenhouse can be modified to improve its performance. For example, the greenhouse has tested to determine the rate of uncontrolled air leakage and to identify which unintentional cracks and opening should be sealed, an aspect of greenhouse design that can have a major impact on energy use and plant health that is typically overlooked. Another initiative is examining several low-cost, innovative options to use water to store and release heat to moderate temperature swings within the greenhouse and to reduce energy use during the heating season.

The results of these and other future applied research projects will be reflected in the curriculum for RRC’s Greenspace Management Program and shared with commercial greenhouse operators throughout the province and elsewhere in Canada.

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise:
The website URL where information about the innovation is available :

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