HPAC Magazine

Dunbarton named ‘greenest school on earth’

By Alex Di Pietro   

Green Technology HPAC General Energy Management Institutional Buildings

Dunbarton High School in Pickering, ON is top class when it comes to green initiatives.

“It’s one of the neatest schools to be in,” said Shawn O’Brien, manager of mechanical and energy design for the Durham District School Board.
 
Winning the Greenest School in Canada designation in 2014, Dunbarton High School was honoured earlier this week as the Greenest School on Earth by the Global Coalition for Green Schools.
 
Schools are selected for the global award based on the integration of sustainability into their infrastructure, culture and curriculum.
 
Dunbarton features an outdoor classroom for 40 students and a 500-metre pollinator garden. Students are also equipped with stainless steel bottles upon attending the school and participate in organic waste removal and the Atlantic Salmon Restoration Program.
 
But in addition to student- and faculty-led initiatives, the school boasts solar hot water panels and had a high-efficiency chiller installed in the past five years. During that same time, it has been retrofitted with energy-efficient windows, insulation and lower wattage lighting.   
 
The solar thermal system, which was supplied by Viessmann, heats all of the domestic hot water in the school. Meanwhile, the Daikin magnetic-bearing chiller features a turbo compressor. Multiple contractors were hired in making the installations.
 
“Basically, we’ve been constantly using funding to upgrade our buildings and creating the best learning environment we possibly can for the students,” O’Brien said. “But at the same time, we try to achieve energy savings, because energy costs keep going up and up.”
 
The award comes with a $1000 amount for a sustainability initiative. Dunbarton plans to use it for a garden and 10 additional bee condos.

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