Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 71.58
Liaison James Gordon
Submission Date March 3, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Thompson Rivers University
IN-2: Innovation 2

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 James Gordon
Environmental Programs and Research Coordinator
TRU Office of Environment and Sustainability
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Title or keywords related to the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Quick Response (QR) Codes in House Of Learning

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

The TRU Brown Family House of Learning building (HOL) was built to a LEED Gold Standard upon its completion in 2011 after adhering to all of the necessary credits in the LEED program. The building finally officially obtained LEED Gold Certification from the Canada Green Building Council on January 30, 2015. One of the credits it achieved was called 'Innovation in Design Credit 1.1; Green Building Education', which consisted of meeting the requirements for both Passive and Active educational elements. Passive elements include various fixed features located throughout HOL (like permanent signage or displays), which are designed to be promotional and/or educational in nature. Active elements include those items that can be interacted with and offer more detailed information, like having informational kiosks within the HOL or a website around the green features of the building.
To meet the criteria for this credit, in 2013 TRU developed a series of interactive Quick Response Codes (QR Codes). Images of QR codes, along with titles and URL addresses, were put on posters and displayed in many locations throughout the building. Once scanned, they allow access to green building content information for anyone with a smart phone, tablet, lap top, or access to a nearby computer terminal. The inclusion of the QR codes covers both the Active and Passive components required for the Green Building Education LEED Gold credit as per CaGBC.
In total, there are 18 QR code posters scattered throughout the building highlighting various sustainable aspects of the building. An example includes the poster titled "Where are the goats?". Once scanned, the QR code directs users to information about the garden roofs and their energy-saving benefits. Doing so gives details that meet the Active portion of the LEED credit. QR Codes also provide, where applicable, cultural background information. For the example "Where are the goats?", the information provided looks at the relationship between the design and construction of the main garden roof--on the part of the HOL known as The Barber Centre--to the First Nation Interior Salish Pit Houses, which were once common in parts of Kamloops many decades ago.
Another benefit of the QR codes is that they link the user to real time energy use for the building. TRU has installed wireless monitoring, and now utilizes Pulse software in all buildings larger than 1000 square metres. Pulse provides real-time feedback on electricity and gas use, and can be viewed online by anyone. See it live at: https://my.pulseenergy.com/ThompsonRiversUniversity/dashboard/overview#/overview

+ Date Revised: March 20, 2015

A brief description of any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation (if not reported above):

Measurable outcomes associated with the innovation of using QR codes for the HOL building, aside from meeting the objectives of the LEED credit, helped to reduce the amount of waste produced by the building. The QR Codes are done via smart technology and do not require any brochures to be printed, which saves paper from being printed. This aids in environmental awareness for both the public and campus users regarding not only green building practices but environmental awareness in general.
For building occupants, the Pulse energy dashboard lets them see the influence they have on the building's footprint. It can encourage building users to turn off the lights when they leave a room, or turn down the temperature to promote energy conservation, reduce greenhouse gas emmissions, and/or provide cost savings from reduced energy bills.

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise:
Which of the following STARS subcategories does the innovation most closely relate to? (Select all that apply up to a maximum of five):
Yes or No
Curriculum No
Research No
Campus Engagement Yes
Public Engagement Yes
Air & Climate Yes
Buildings Yes
Dining Services No
Energy Yes
Grounds No
Purchasing No
Transportation No
Waste No
Water No
Coordination, Planning & Governance No
Diversity & Affordability No
Health, Wellbeing & Work No
Investment No

Other topic(s) that the innovation relates to that are not listed above:

The website URL where information about the innovation is available:

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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.