The Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning (“Humber”) was established in 1967 and is one of Canada’s leading postsecondary institutions serving more than 29,200 full-time students and 56,000 continuing education registrants. Their 170 full-time programs include graduate certificates, four-year bachelor’s degrees, two and three-year diplomas, one and two-year certificates and apprenticeship training.

As part of their sustainability initiatives, Humber authorized the development of an Integrated Energy Master Plan (IEMP) in 2015 looking forward to 2034. Their IEMP included goals to:

  • Reduce total greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent by 2034
  • Reduce source energy use by 50 per cent per square foot by 2034
  • Reduce water use by 50 per cent per student by 2034

Learn more about Humber‘s sustainability plans.

Accomplishments at the Building Portfolio

  • Number of Buildings Enrolled: 50 of 50
  • GHG Emissions Intensity: 2.8 kgCO₂e/sq ft²/yr
  • Total GHG Emissions: 7,923 tCO₂e/yr

Integrated Energy MasterPlan & Comprehensive Energy Management Program

In 2015, Humber authorized the development of an Integrated Energy Master Plan (IEMP) to:

  • Become a national and global role model with world-class energy performance
  • Reduce source energy use by 50 per cent per square foot by 2034
  • Reduce water use by 50 per cent per student by 2034
  • Reduce total greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent by 2034
  • Offer world-class courses addressing competitive and integrated energy, water and climate solutions while acting as a living laboratory for students

Since the development of the IEMP, Humber has implemented a comprehensive energy management program focused on reducing energy demand and efficient supply through district energy networks on its campuses.

Net Zero Energy Barrett Centre for Technology Innovation – LEED New Construction Platinum Certified

The Barrett Centre for Technology Innovation achieved LEED® New Construction Platinum Certification and is one of the largest net-zero energy buildings in Canada. The 93,000 square-foot facility is designed to meet an aggressive energy use intensity (EUI) target of 100 kWh/m2/year. Its annual energy consumption is offset by a large 700kW-DC (580kW-AC) solar installation on an adjacent structure.The energy efficiency features also function as teaching tools and include:

  • Passive heating and cooling systems, including operable windows and a multi-storey thermal chimney which allows natural ventilation in mild weather
  • A high-performance roofing system and building envelope
  • High Efficiency HVAC Systems

Humber’s Sustainable Energy and Building Technology Program Collaboration to supporting Affordable Housing with Parkdale Activity – Recreation Centre (PARC)

Humber College and the Parkdale Activity – Recreation Centre (PARC) collaborated to complete the first systematic energy audit at PARC’s multi-residential three-storey heritage brownstone and to build internal capacity to manage and monitor energy usage. Twelve students from Humber’s Sustainable Energy and Building Technology Program conducted an energy audit at the brownstone with 38 affordable rental units at 1501 Queen St. W. The students assessed HVAC, lighting and building enclosure opportunities for PARC to improve its building performance.

Lighting Retrofits and Networked Lighting Management System Implemented at 20 Buildings

Lighting retrofits implemented in 20 buildings including classrooms, labs, lecture halls, offices, indoor athletic facilities, corridors and other common use areas. A networked lighting management system centrally manages lighting to reduce energy consumption and provide the flexibility to adjust light levels. The system was also integrated with the Building Automation System to reduce HVAC loads when spaces are unoccupied. Lighting energy consumption was reduced by more than 70 per cent in the 500,000 sq. ft. of retrofitted area.

More than 1 MW of Photovoltaic Solar at Humber’s North Campus

More than 1 MW of rooftop solar photovoltaic panels were installed at Humber’s main north campus. Photovoltaic systems help to offset some of the most carbon intensive electricity grid generation on the hottest days of summer. The installation generates enough renewable energy to offset approximately 15 per cent of the campus’ peak summer electricity load.

Building Nx Zero Carbon Retrofit – First Retrofit Project in Canada to Achieved the Zero Carbon (ZCB) Design Certification from the Canada Green Building Council

Humber’s Building NX has transformed from one of the campus’ most inefficient buildings to an industry-leading example of how to perform a deep energy retrofit. This project was able to meet the rigorous requirements of the Passive House standard and has been certified as such and is the first retrofit project in Canada to achieve the Zero Carbon (ZCB) Design Certification from the Canada Green Building Council. Building NX will see a 70 per cent reduction in energy use and more than 90 per cent reduction greenhouse gas emissions. An extensive retrofit for Building NX, originally built in 1989, addressed both the building envelope and upgrades to major core building systems:

  • High-performance building skin and engineered transitions for superior air control to alleviate thermal bridging
  • Newly installed Passive House Certified windows
  • Air-source variable refrigerant flow system which recovers and transfers heat between zones
  • Dedicated outdoor air system with ventilation heat recovery
  • 24 kW rooftop photovoltaic array
  • LED lighting fixtures and a networked lighting control system featuring occupancy control and daylight harvesting.


Disclaimer: Profiles presented are based on information provided by participants. Participants’ GHG emissions performance published are based on utility data submitted and converted to GHG emissions. The emission factors applied aligns with the period of energy data reported (2019). The emission factors utilized for the conversion are calculated based on a combination of sources: Government of Canada (National Inventory Report & Canada’s Proposed Greenhouse Gas Quantification Requirements), Government of Ontario (Guide: Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting), The Atmospheric Fund (A Clearer View on Ontario’s Emissions – Electricity emissions factors and guidelines) and Enbridge Gas Inc. (Chemical Composition of Natural Gas).