A new ventilation system in the welding shop at BCIT is reducing energy consumption and lowering greenhouse gas emissions as students train for a career in the welding industry.
The completion of the $2.7-million upgrade was celebrated and recognized by Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk who was joined by industry, employers, students, faculty and staff at BCIT.
“The new ventilation system reduces energy consumption, improves air quality, and results in less noise,” said Virk. “As a result of our investment, BCIT will save energy, welding students at BCIT are receiving better instruction and it’s a better work environment for instructors.”
The system is an example of how BCIT and the provincial government are training trades people while maintaining the twin priorities of environmental stewardship and economic progress. The retrofit is part of BCIT’s “factor four” program, which will reduce energy consumption by 75 per cent in seven buildings – including four buildings housing trades training programs.
“Upgrading trades and technical training facilities is both an important part and key factor in the success of our Skills and Training Plan,” said Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour Shirley Bond. “The improvements to BCIT’s welding building will mean a more comfortable and effective learning environment for training new welders required to fill the job openings in demand in B.C.’s economy.”
With a BC Hydro Power Smart incentive, and maintenance savings factored in, the project will yield estimated savings of $125,000 per year. Additional funding for equipment was provided by PCL Construction.
The retrofit is just one of many efforts to make significant breakthroughs on energy and materials use at BCIT. Students and instructors already are benefiting from the expanded training facility, decreased ambient noise, and improved air quality.
“BCIT greatly appreciates the contributions of the Ministry of Advanced Education, PCL, and BC Hydro toward the revitalization of our welding facility,” said Rod Goy, Dean, BCIT School of Construction and the Environment. “Ultimately, these improvements will reduce our carbon footprint and our energy costs, while improving our ability to supply the province with skilled tradespeople.”
The project will save an estimated 600,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year – the same amount of electricity used in 67 typical Metro Vancouver homes. Natural gas consumption will be reduced by the amount needed to heat 140 average sized Metro Vancouver apartments. The reduction in greenhouse gases from the project is equivalent to eliminating the CO2 emissions from 100,000 litres of gasoline.
NB: Dave Pinton wrote this article.