CASE STUDY 14: St Lawrence College – Low-Carbon Building Skills Programs: Apprenticeship, Engineering Technology, Green Building, Smart House, Curriculum development
The Ontario Provincial Government has made low-carbon building skills (LCBS) a priority and recently (2017/2018) opened funding for Ontario Colleges to do projects to A) Enhance Trades Education; B) Develop LCBS Curriculum; and C) Establish Partnerships that Showcase LCBS training. The program was designed to increase the number of college graduates with LCBS and the number of companies that have access to these students.
St Lawrence College (SLC) is committed to offering programs tied to Integrated Sustainable Trades & Technology (ISTT). ISTT refers to a holistic approach to trades and technology where different disciplines learn about each other's trades and technology professions to facilitate better integration of practical work.
Doran worked with SLC to develop programs under each of the three LCBS funding streams. All three applications were approved. SLC’s three new powerful initiatives include: A) LCBS Passive House; B) LCBS Symposium & Curriculum; and C) LCBS Local Success Stories. The programs also draw on partnerships with Queen’s University, Carleton University, Algonquin College and Fleming College; and many community partners.
LCBS Passive House
The LCBS Passive House is a 2-storey duplex, to be built in the summer of 2018, on SLC's Kingston Campus consisting of two 186 m2 (2,000 ft2) units. Unit 1 will be built to Standard Code using standard equipment). Unit 2 is targeted to be LEED Platinum and feature as many carbon-reducing options, materials, equipment and construction practices as possible. The Passive House is a platform for SLC to collaborate with a wide variety of community and industry partners connected to the green building sector. This project focuses on a collaboration between SLC and Habitat for Humanity, Kingston Homebuilders Association (KHBA), Kingston Construction Association (KCA), Shoalts & Zaback Architects, SWITCH, Sustainable Kingston, and the City of Kingston. It is an opportunity for the partners to develop a Passive House as a teaching tool for SLC trades and technology students as well as for the industry partners themselves. The SLC Passive House will create learning opportunities for behavioural research, technology innovation, community energy programs, and the showcasing the best low-carbon products on the market.
LCBS Symposium and Curriculum
The project will create new low-carbon building skills (LCBS) curriculum in direct response to the needs of the green energy and building sectors, via a LCBS Symposium, curriculum research & development, and curriculum modules. A Steering Group made up of a project manager, SLC staff and faculty, Fleming & Algonquin College's, Queen's University, Sustainable Kingston, SWTICH, City of Kingston, Utilities Kingston and additional experts from industry, will guide the curriculum-building process between March and December 2018. A LCBS Symposium will be held in the spring of 2018—inviting participants from numerous Ontario Colleges, the green building industry (construction, contractors, service companies), industry associations, local utilities, local workforce development, local economic development, community organizations, and the standards associations and accreditation organizations. The new curriculum will be assembled from information and data collected from subject matter experts, the LCBS Symposium participants, and third party green building curricula sources. The new LCBS curriculum will be divided into modules and integrated into existing programs and courses—building LCBS capacity across all SLC trades and technology programs, starting Jan 2019. This project will also integrate with other activities underway at SLC, such as the a Innovation Hub; the Sustainable Energy Applied Research Centre (SEARC); the Sustainable Living Centre; and SLC's new Strategic Mandate Agreement (SMA 2017-2020).
LCBS Local Success Stories
Lowering Ontario's GHG footprint will require actions by all Ontarian's, many are unaware of the actions they can take to reduce GHG emissions. St Lawrence College and their partners are producing five educational case studies, to strengthen training, workforce and technical capacity, and act as inspirational videos for companies and people in Eastern Ontario—covering topics such as energy management and conservation; renewable power; technology development, and green building practices. The case studies will be used in SLC curriculum and shared via social media channels to inspire and train industry and the community.