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Textbook Sustainability

A public school funded in part by private partners offers unprecedented opportunities for teaching and learning about energy consumption.

Burnaby, British Columbia

Gold stars

Mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems consume less than 75% of a similarly sized school. Water consumption and CO2 emissions also low.

Field of green

Geothermal system exchanges heat from the ground through 20 km of pipe buried in the playing field.


Features an extensive on-site stormwater filtration system, with biofiltration swales, stormwater retention ponds and constructed wetlands.

Project facts

Cost: $14 Million with a construction budget of $954 per square metre
Size : 15,000 sq. m./ 161,500 sq. ft. on three storeys
Completed: 2000
Collaborators : VanCity Enterprises Ltd., Cornerstone Architecture and Planning, Franklin Hill & Associates, IBM Canada Ltd. and BC Tel Discovery Learning
Builder: Dominion

Achievements & Awards

Environmental Award, City of Burnaby

Award of Building Engineering Excellence, Consulting Engineers of British Columbia

Award of Merit, Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards