The renewable-energy-powered lights came on at the Nova Scotia Community College’s Centre for Built Environment yesterday.

Premier Darrell Dexter joined NSCC acting president Don Bureaux to officially unveil the new wing yesterday. The NSCC’s Waterfront Campus can now accommodate 2,600 full-time and 2,500 part-time students.

“This centre is an example of what is possible for our province when everyone comes to the table with the same goal,” said Dexter.

“The goal was to create a leading edge educational facility where students, faculty, and industry partners could work together to develop sustainable solutions for our built environment.”

The CBE is being touted as a “living learning and research lab.” The state-of-the-art facility will be cooled and partially heated by geothermal energy, its power augmented by solar panels and small wind turbines.

Abid Amhad, chair of mechanical and industrial technologies at the Waterfront Campus, said students will have the unique experience of learning by actually working on the building they work in. For example, students of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning program will work on the building’s HVAC systems under staff supervision.