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SAIT President and CEO Irene Lewis recieves a $750,000 donation for SAIT via electronic money transfer from RBC Vice President Roger Straathof.

New RBC funding helps SAIT advance green building technologies

Calgary, AB — SAIT Polytechnic has received a generous donation in support of Green Building Technologies applied research.

RBC, through its charitable foundation, donated $750,000 to SAIT at an announcement Tuesday. The gift will be used for applied research initiatives at SAIT, including the Innovative Student Projects Fund and Net Zero building products and strategies.

"By investing in these projects, RBC can help to advance green building technologies. By developing a variety of green building practices, techniques and skills, we believe we can help to reduce the impacts of buildings on the environment and on human health," says Roger Straathof, Vice President, RBC.

The funding will also assist with the completion of the Green Building Technologies lab at SAIT — a $2.3 million project co-funded by the College-Industry Innovation Fund, administered through the Canada Foundation for Innovation, and the Province of Alberta's Ministry of Enterprise and Advanced Education.

"The Green Building Technologies Lab at SAIT is a great example of how collaboration between partners can inspire innovation," said Stephen Khan, Minister of Enterprise and Advanced Education.

"This new facility is a model of applied innovation and will give students and researchers the opportunity to explore sustainable building technologies in a facility that itself exemplifies green technology. The research at this facility also has the potential to make a significant contribution to the way we design and construct our homes and buildings. It's an exciting project and one the Alberta Government is proud to support. "

"Our country's prosperity depends on our ability to turn innovation into high-quality jobs and economic growth," adds the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology). "That's why the Government of Canada is pleased to invest nearly $800,000 in the Green Building Technologies Lab through the CFI-because research like this will have a positive impact on both the economy and the environment."

The Net Zero Energy Home applied research funding will help SAIT's Green Building Technologies research team work with students to model and measure building energy standards in the areas of:

  • energy consumption and production
  • design and testing of new wall/ceiling/structural elements
  • sustainable waste and water practices
  • integrated renewable energy and alternative energy
  • home energy management and monitoring
  • public acceptance of innovative building products and practices.

The Lab will have several unique features to enhance research including a solar thermal generation area, a green roof for research into rainwater harvesting and re-use and removable exterior wall panels for testing of new, innovative materials.

"The Green Building Technologies lab is a training facility that will provide real, hands-on experience for our students in the world of construction," says Irene Lewis, President and CEO of SAIT Polytechnic. "The lab will also allow more industry partners to engage in research projects with SAIT."

The Innovative Student Projects Fund gives financial support to students for resources and supplies required to execute green building research projects students carry out as part of their final project. SAIT welcomes students and industry partners to get involved in green building research and innovation. During the 2010-2011 school year alone, 375 students were given first-hand experience working with Green Building Technologies.

About SAIT Polytechnic

SAIT Polytechnic is one of Canada's most exciting destinations for post-secondary education, offering more than 100 career programs and over 1,000 part-time courses (including online and distance) that position people for success in technology, trades and business. A leader in innovation, SAIT also collaborates with industry on applied research and delivers corporate training worldwide.

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