North Saanich Middle School

Reflecting the teaching philosophy of “show, don’t tell,” the Okanagan College wanted a new centre for sustainable building technology to be built using advanced, green construction. The resulting Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technology and Renewable Energy Conservation at Okanagan College in Penticton is one of the world’s greenest buildings. Featuring extensive use of wood products and advanced wood technologies – such as innovative composite floors and walls – the centre met LEED Platinum standards and the Living Building Challenge, a program to build the most sustainable buildings possible using today’s design and construction technologies. Opened in 2011, the centre has won a number of awards, including the International Architecture Awards Green GOOD DESIGN and the 2012 Canadian Green Building Award from Sustainable Architecture Building Magazine. The centre is a true “living-learning” facility – with incubation space to nurture the growing high-tech, green-focused industry for the South Okanagan-Similkameen and to demonstrate advanced wood building technologies developed in British Columbia.

Wood Use

Local Jobs, Local Benefits

Many of the 75 contractors and subcontractors involved in the project were local; construction of the school created work for close to 200 people.

Relaxed Learning Environment

Wood trim and panelling throughout the school provides a tangible connection to nature, something that cannot be matched by other building materials. Wood creates a high-quality learning environment for students and teachers, and research has concluded that wood interiors reduce stress.

Best Choice For Community Space

Wood is hypo-allergenic and, unlike carpeting, prevents the build-up of dust and is easier to clean, making it a great choice for North Saanich Middle School, which has an enlarged gym and auditorium for community meetings or events after school hours.