Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 71.76
Liaison Mike Versteege
Submission Date Oct. 10, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.2

University of Alberta
IN-3: Innovation 3

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Michael Versteege
Manager, Energy Management & Sustainable Operations
Facilities & Operations
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

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


The Camrose Performing Arts Centre (CPAC) was recently completed at the University of Alberta’s Augustana Campus in Camrose, Alberta. Development of the centre was a collaborative project between the University of Alberta, the City of Camrose, Camrose County, and the Government of Alberta. This new arts centre has achieved a rating of Four Green Globes from Green Globes Canada (www.greenglobes.com) thanks to its many innovative sustainability features.

CPAC’s design takes full advantage of both solar electricity generation and energy-efficiency measures. The largest building-integrated solar photovoltaic (PV) installation in Canada surrounds the theatre’s fly tower – 122 kW of installed capacity that generates around 20% of its own electricity throughout the year. This solar electric system will contribute to research as well, since electricity generated from the system is measured in real time. The university will study generation differences between each face of the fly tower (all four sides – North, South, East, and West are covered in solar PV modules), as well as the potential for electricity generation from sunlight reflected off the snow in the winter time, which can be significant at times. Since this is not a conventional installation, studying its performance is an excellent opportunity to use a UAlberta campus facility as a “living laboratory” to contribute to the understanding of solar PV performance in this configuration.

The centre not only considers the source of its electricity, but also how much it uses. Energy-efficiency measures in the building include predominantly light emitting diodes (LED) lighting throughout, high efficiency boilers, high efficiency chillers, and high thermal resistance (high R-value) roof insulation.

Especially unique are the LEDs used for the stage and front-of-house lighting in the theatre. Active performance spaces like CPAC have very particular and intensive lighting requirements, which lead to high electricity consumption for both electricity and cooling. The choice to implement LED lighting allows shows to happen with reduced energy requirements. Furthermore, the application of LED lighting in a specialized setting like a theatre provides support for the expansion of this technology into spaces that typically use traditional lighting.

By testing new methods and contributing to research findings, the University of Alberta and the Camrose Performing Arts Centre are leading the way. Altogether, the solar generation and energy-efficiency measures are predicted to save CPAC $50,000 per year in utility costs – the solar PV system alone should prevent about 52 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year and avoid $10,000 in utility costs per year.

The sustainable design of this culturally-rich facility makes it publicly accessible through its performances, events, and university offerings. The centre will feature a sustainability wall containing active displays that describe the building’s sustainability features and provide educational information and exciting updates to users of the centre. CPAC certainly sets an example for the green building industry, but it just as importantly highlights the vast potential to integrate sustainability with art, entertainment, community and culture, pillars of sustainability (environment, economy, society) that are often overlooked.

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

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