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For Immediate Release: 09.15.11

Official Opening of Walden Public School – a model in sustainability



Walden Public School - A model for sustainability
Rainbow District School Board marked the official opening of its second green school on Wednesday, September 14, 2011. Students Addison Elliott (Grade 3, English Program) and Brady Ducharme (Grade 2, French Immersion) joined special guests for the ribbon cutting ceremony, including Director of Education Norm Blaseg, left, and Board Chair Tyler Campbell. A model for sustainability, Walden Public School will be featured as one of Canada’s most environmentally advanced buildings at Sustainable Buildings 2011 to be held in Helsinki, Finland from October 18 to 21, 2011.



Rainbow District School Board marked the official opening of its second green school on Wednesday, September 14, 2011. Walden Public School, in the heart of Sudbury West, offers excellence in education in English and French Immersion to 500 students from JK to Grade 6 in a 49,247 square foot state-of-the-art facility. The school also houses a daycare.

A model for sustainability, Walden Public School will be featured as one of Canada’s most environmentally advanced buildings at Sustainable Buildings 2011 to be held in Helsinki, Finland from October 18 to 21, 2011.

“With this new school, we are committed to building a carbon neutral facility, where the energy that is used is equal to the energy that is produced,” said Rainbow District School Board Chair Tyler Campbell. “We are well on our way towards achieving this vision and are delighted to have an opportunity to share our success story on the international stage.”

Area Trustee Gord Santala commended the Walden Public School community for supporting the new green school. “Staff, students and parents embraced our vision. With support from the Ministry of Education, we were able to turn our vision into reality, giving students access to the best programming possible in quality school facilities,” he said.

“There are many benefits to building high performance facilities, from education, environmental and economic perspectives,” added Director of Education Norm Blaseg. “Go green features protect the natural environment, provide a healthy, hands-on place to learn, reduce energy consumption and operating expenses, and make new schools exceptional learning and teaching tools for students and staff.”

“Ameresco Canada has been a long-term proud partner of Rainbow District School Board and we commend the board on their greening efforts,” said Mario Iusi, President, Ameresco Canada Inc. “This project is one of significant importance that places not only Rainbow District School Board, but also the Ontario education system on an international stage and we are proud to have been part of it.”

Green features at Walden Public School include geothermal heating and cooling systems, radiant floor heating, displacement ventilation, energy efficient fixtures, occupancy sensors, waterless urinals, a wind turbine and photovoltaic panels. The school is also equipped with the latest in smart technology, engaging students in dynamic learning opportunities.

Green Features:

A geothermal heating and cooling system provides four units of energy from the ground for every unit of energy purchased from conventional sources. This efficiency is unequalled by other conventional heating and cooling systems. The heat collected from the geothermal system is distributed throughout the school via radiant infloor heating. 

Displacement ventilation improves the indoor air quality. The system brings 100 per cent outdoor air into the school. Any air pollutants generated within the building are removed at the source and are not re-circulated.

Energy efficient fixtures in all washrooms help conserve water use. Superior window, floor and roof insulation increases thermal performance of the building by 50 per cent, compared to conventional facilities.

When rooms are not in use, occupancy sensors automatically shut lights off, resulting in significant energy savings. With waterless urinals, a biodegradable liquid cleans the waste in the drain system. The learning environment is lit with natural light by increasing daylight levels in all classrooms by 15 per cent of the floor area.

The building incorporates Smart IT systems, making use of state-of-the-art technology such as Smart Boards. One small (20 kw) wind turbine will generate 15 per cent of the school’s electricity.

Rainbow District School Board received $971,800 under the Renewable Energy Funding for Schools initiative to install a 100 kilowatt solar photovoltaic system on the roof of Walden Public School.

Project Team:
Architect                                      
Castellan James + Partners Architects Inc.

Sustainable Advisor                       
Tom Tamblyn - Dearness Conservation Society

Mechanical/Electrical Engineer       
LKM SNC Lavalin

Civil Engineer                               
Trow Engineering

Structural Engineer                       
Genesis Engineering

Contractor                                       
Ameresco Canada Inc.


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Media Contact:

Nicole Charette, Senior Advisor,
Corporate Communications and Strategic Planning,
Rainbow District School Board, 705.674.3171, ext. 7217.