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Solar and vegetative roof moves UNB closer to 2050 carbon neutrality goals

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on Dec 7, 2022

Category: UNB Fredericton

The University of New Brunswick (UNB) unveiled a modern, environmentally sustainable solar and vegetative roof at the Integrated University Complex (IUC) Central Core on Nov. 29, 2022.

Dr. Paul J. Mazerolle, president and vice-chancellor of UNB, said the project decreased deferred maintenance by $660K and supports UNB’s strategic pillar, a modern, integrated and sustainable UNB.

“The work has assisted in preserving the building’s integrity and keeping it in a reliable, operating condition,” Mazerolle said. “The project will extend the life of the overall building and contribute to UNB’s goals toward sustainability.”

The work began in the summer of 2021 and was completed at the end of the summer of 2022. The overall project cost was $2.1 million.

Key staff from UNB’s Office of Capital Planning and Operations were instrumental in successfully completing the project with the design team led by Fishburn Sheridan & Associates for the roof, MCW Maricor for the solar photovoltaic (PV) system, Flynn Canada Limited for the construction of the roof and FCC Construction for the PV system.

“This project started with the need for a complete replacement of the roofing system, which was original to the building constructed in 1976, so it was well past its expected useful life,” said UNB’s Craig Hickey, who served as project manager. “The existing roof membrane had failed in numerous locations and leaks were common in the IUC Central Core and Science Library.”

The vegetative roofing system consists of a variety of plantings—mainly sedums in various colours and patterns to give an aesthetic feature to the roof. The plants used were selected for their tolerance to drought, low maintenance and hardiness to New Brunswick’s climate zone.

The lower half of the roof features solar panels to capture solar energy for green power generation.

Mary Jane Adams, associate vice-president in the Office of Capital Planning and Operations, said the project was one that we can all be proud of. She explained that UNB has recently completed a series of sustainability projects and is continuing to prioritize this work in the future.

“The Office of Capital Planning and Operations views all projects through a sustainability and energy lens,” said Adams. “All of these projects help achieve UNB’s 2050 carbon neutrality goals as part of UNB’s Climate Change Action Plan.”