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Humber College retrofit earns zero-carbon certification for energy efficiency

June 11, 2019 – Humber College’s NX building in Toronto has become the first retrofit project in the country to earn the Zero Carbon Building Design Certification from the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC), representing both high energy efficiency and the ability to offset annual carbon emissions with clean, renewable power.


June 11, 2019
By Peter Saunders
Peter Saunders
Humber College Nx building retrofitBefore (left), during (centre) and after (right) the retrofit. Images courtesy CaGBC.

The 48,269-square-foot NX building, which was originally built in 1989, is being updated with a complete envelope retrofit for airtight insulation, including new triple-pane windows, along with upgrades to lighting, heating and cooling systems and the addition of a 25-kW solar photovoltaic (PV) system. The renovations were designed by B+H Architects and carried out by Bird Construction, beginning in May 2018 and scheduled for completion this summer.

Once the retrofit is finished, the college’s five-storey tall north campus building will reportedly use 70% less energy than before, which would make it Humber’s most energy-efficient facility and, further, one of the most efficient in North America.

“One of the biggest challenges to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Canada is finding ways to heat buildings at a reasonable cost without burning fossil fuels,” says Spencer Wood, the college’s director of facilities management. “Humber wanted to be an example to the design and construction industries of a deep energy retrofit.”