Okanagan College’s child care facility sets a first in sustainability

Click to play video 'Okanagan College’s child care facility sets a first in sustainability' Okanagan College’s child care facility sets a first in sustainability

It’s a major milestone in sustainability for Okanagan College.

The new Little Learners Academy at the Penticton campus is Canada’s first Passive House certified daycare.

Passive House, developed in Germany in the 1990s, is one of the most stringent energy-efficient construction principles and standards in the world.

Local builder Nicholas Hill teamed up with Landform Architecture to design and build the child care facility.

It uses up to 90 per cent less energy for heating and cooling than a conventional building.

From triple pane insulated glass windows, to an air-tight building with 18” tick walls and natural ventilation, the green building took 10 months to complete.

“The heat in the building naturally ventilates out so we don’t have to use any energy to cool the space,” said Hill, owner of Ritchie Contracting & Design.

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“The program predominantly in North America is made for the residential market and so this is the first certified child care facility in Canada,” Hill added.

The initiative was more expensive than a standard build– but it will result in lower energy bills and reduces carbon emissions.

Eric Corneau, regional dean of Okanagan College for the South Okanagan-Similkameen, said the post-secondary institution will continue to push the boundaries of sustainability for future generations.

“I think it’s an amazing testament to our commitment to sustainability and to creating meaningful contributions to the community,” he said.