SAIT Sets its Sights on Sustainability

New Green Building Technologies lab first net-zero commercial building in Calgary

SAIT celebrated the summer solstice with a preview of our new applied research facility — the Green Building Technologies (GBT) Lab and Demonstration Centre.

The facility, the first net-zero commercial building in Calgary, was made possible through SAIT’s partnerships with the Government of Canada, the Government of Alberta, RBC, Avalon Master Builder and a number of industry suppliers.

“We are proud our Green Building Technologies Lab and Demonstration Centre will support student success with relevant renewable technologies training to meet growing industry demand. And, at the same time, this applied research centre will help develop products and clean-tech that will contribute to greater sustainability in Canada and around the world,” says Dr. David Ross, SAIT President and CEO.

The GBT Lab and Demonstration Centre, built on the northwest corner of the SAIT campus, is a 590 square metre living and breathing example of energy efficiency, building-integrated green technologies, and renewable energy solutions. It is a high-performance research tool built to net-zero energy commercial standards, with building-integrated green roofs, living walls, advanced mechanical systems, and removable exterior wall panels for material and component assembly research.

With additional area dedicated to specialized workshops, testing bays, storage and a large construction staging zone, the entire facility totals more than 1,560 square metres of research infrastructure. This building will contribute to numerous learning opportunities for students in addition to enabling innovation within industry.

As an applied research facility, GBT provides hands-on training and industry-based experience. With learning opportunities at its core, GBT engages SAIT students and researchers from multiple disciplines across different contexts and projects.

The GBT research division at SAIT is a leader in net-zero energy design, construction and integrated renewable energy solutions. Working in cooperation with builders, government, regulatory bodies and numerous other stakeholders, the GBT team brings new products and processes to the green building marketplace.

Projects typically undertaken by GBT connect consumers, industry and education to deliver residential and commercial building solutions. The GBT research division offers a broad range of service lines, technical consultation and research and development resources, including building-integrated solar and water technologies as well as green materials fabrication, prototyping and product testing.

The Green Building Technologies (GBT) Lab and Demonstration Centre will be ready for students in the fall.

GBT Lab and Demonstration Centre highlights:

  • Green roof test plots for water dispersion control and building energy monitoring
  • Structural testing jigs for new building product performance measurement
  • Guarded hot box for wall and roof system performance testing
  • Lifecycle testing for wall, roof, cladding and building components
  • Electrical, plumbing and carpentry workshop
  • Nearly 540 square metre pre-manufactured construction and staging area
  • Solar carport and electric vehicle charging bays
  • Smart building monitoring and performance measurement
  • Solar aquatic and constructed wetland bio-filtration
  • Living wall comparative test plots

Fast facts:

  • 50 students conducting GBT research annually
  • More than 850 technology students at SAIT exposed per year through formal class tours and presentations
  • 30-40 Green Building Technologies projects per year
  • 17 net-zero buildings worked on by SAIT GBT researchers
  • 40 kilowatt power generated by the SAIT GBT solar lab