Nova Scotia Power is giving $1.5 million to the Nova Scotia Community College to help experiment with green construction.

 

The investment, doled out in equal parts over five years, will go towards the NSCC’s new Centre for the Built Environment currently under construction at the Dartmouth waterfront campus.

 

“It’s important for our company because we’re investing in the future of Nova Scotia from an energy perspective,” said Nova Scotia Power CEO Rob Bennett.

 

The centre is set to open in 2010 and will deal with the “built environment,” such as homes, roads and cities. It will open up spots for about 800 students to work towards developing an environmentally conscious construction sector.

“(The centre) is a living laboratory to look at ways we can relate to the built environment. It will have living walls on it with green roofs, green walls, wind, solar,” said NSCC President Joan McArthur-Blair.

“They’ve given us a launching pad to test all of the innovative ideas that we want to do in this building.”

For example, the funding will go towards building three urban windmills on the building that will be tested over a period of years. The building itself costs $29 million to build and uses geo-thermal power for 100 per cent of its cooling and 50 per cent of its heating.

The money comes from Nova Scotia Power coffers and will not affect power rates. Dana Atwell, director of environmental policies and programs at NSP, will also spend several days a week working with staff and students to help design programs.