Red Deer College has been focused on roof repairs, and mechanical and lighting upgrades, thanks to $13 million in capital maintenance funding from the province.
Over the past 12 months, the college received $10.8 million in maintenance funding from the government, along with $2.2 million from previous government grants, which have been repurposed for the roofing project.
“While all of these projects at the college will result in long-term operational savings, they also will contribute to RDC’s Green Energy Master Plan, which aims to reduce our overall carbon footprint to net zero during the next two decades,” says Jim Brinkhurst, RDC vice-president of college services.
The roof of RDC’s Four Centres, which is a hub for innovation and creativity, is currently being replaced with a multi-ply roof membrane system, and is expected to be completed by September.
The upgrades will enhance several related building components. With a solidified barrier to all kinds of weather and increased insulation capacity, this project will reduce heat loss and utility costs.
In April, sections of the roof on RDC’s west-end of campus were replaced, upgrading the insulation and air vapour barrier systems. These improvements help facilitate a more comfortable environment for students, staff, and guests, and are expected to contribute to RDC’s environmental stewardship by reducing energy usage and expenditures.
Another project currently underway is the modernization of the college’s mechanical control system which operates the major mechanical heating, ventilating and cooling systems on campus.
The upgrades will allow the transition from manual control to a more advanced centralized system by using modern software, which increases the ease and ability to better control the systems while reducing energy demands and costs.
Inefficient interior and exterior light fixtures across campus also continue to be replaced with LED lighting.
The upgrades increase the lifespan of the lights which conserves energy and reduces ongoing replacement costs and create a brighter learning environment and improved visibility on campus.
Currently, RDC has converted about two-thirds of its campus to LED lighting.
“As we look towards our future as a modern polytechnic institution, these improvements will help us to better serve our students and communities with an ongoing commitment to sustainability,” said RDC president Peter Nunoda.
The college said these projects also provide RDC with the opportunity to employ, and collaborate with, several central Alberta businesses.
“This is especially valuable as our region helps to reignite the economy. The entire college community will benefit from the workers’ expertise, and the positive impact will be felt in the region for many years to come,” Nunoda said.
The four projects will create more than 11,800 hours of labour for local companies and their employees.