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Red Deer Polytechnic unveils Residence Sustainability Awards

Date posted:
Monday, May 8, 2023

RDP Residence Sustainability speakers

At an event earlier today, Red Deer Polytechnic celebrated its national and international recognition for the sustainability of its Studio Residence building. 

Since 2019, the Polytechnic’s newest Residence building has received or contributed to RDP being honoured with five sustainability awards. This recognition includes the 2019 Canadian Wood Council Award, 2020 Prairie Wood Design Award: Industry Award of Excellence, 2021 Canada’s Clean 50 Top Project ( and 2022 Canadian Green Building Award: Residence Large. The Studio Residence building was a contributor to RDP earning Colleges and Institutes Canada's (CICan) 2023 Excellence in Sustainable Development silver. The facility was also named a 2021/2022 International Union of Architects 2030 Award Finalist.

“At Red Deer Polytechnic, our Studio Residence building employs globally recognized sustainable technologies and contributes to our institution’s larger Alternative Energy Initiative,” says Jim Brinkhurst, Vice President, Finance and Administration and Chief Financial Officer of Red Deer Polytechnic. “While this innovative facility provides a modern living and social space for RDP’s learners, it also creates education and applied research opportunities for students to gather and analyze data about solar generation in the Alternative Energy Lab.”

The five-story building, which features 145 studio suites, including 19 barrier-free suites, is constructed to optimize solar exposure. It is clad with 545 vertical photovoltaic solar panels on the south, east and west outer walls. These solar panels produce more than 120,000 kWh of electricity annually which is equivalent to providing electricity for 55 homes for a year.

In addition to the photovoltaic solar panels, RDP’s Studio Residence building has several other features that help with energy conservation. It uses a high-performance building envelope to reduce heat loss and heat gain. The facility has a high-performance fiberglass frame, glazing window system, R-35 wall insulation and R-45 roof insulation. Low flow plumbing systems are installed to reduce water consumption. While the Studio Residence building provides an abundance of natural light, low energy LED lights are also used on site.

To commemorate the recognition, the names of the awards and nomination are displayed on six panes of the Studio Residence building’s south-facing windows.

The Polytechnic’s Alternative Energy Initiative promotes a green campus by using energy efficient technologies to reduce energy consumption. Red Deer Polytechnic’s Studio Residence building, and all components of its Alternative Energy Initiative, is part of the Polytechnic’s broader Green Campus Master Plan. This Plan incorporates and develops alternative energy systems that will provide learning and innovation opportunities for students and industry while reducing RDP’s carbon footprint.

The Green Campus Master Plan reinforces RDP’s commitment to become a net zero institution over the next decade, producing enough energy on main campus to power its infrastructure. It also demonstrates the Polytechnic’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals


Photo (l-r): Hailie Ripley, RDP Residence Attendant; Jim Brinkhurst, Vice President of Finance and Administration & Chief Financial Officer; Vedran Skopac, Principal at Reimagine Architects.

For media inquiries, contact:     

brent [dot] forster [at] rdpolytech [dot] ca (Brent Forster)     
Communications Strategist – Corporate     
Red Deer Polytechnic    


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