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Buildings and Greenspace

Greener building practices could cut North America's greenhouse gas emissions more effectively than any other available measure. The University of Ottawa, through the stewardship of its lands, is committed to demonstrating leadership in the manner with which it develops its high quality, sustainable, and positive campus environment. In 2007, the University occupied 534,100 square meters of building space and 99,000 square meters of greenspace.


  • Implement a policy that requires that all new buildings and retrofits meet a minimum of LEED Silver certification.


  • Create a LEED certification policy

Campus Initiatives

LEED-Silver target (Ongoing)

The University believes that best way to ensure that green building standards are being achieved is to follow LEED certification standards. In early 2008, the University established a LEED-Silver target for all new buildings believing that in addition to lower emissions and energy use, green building standards lead to significant workforce benefits, including better employee attraction and retention, lower absenteeism and improved productivity.

Biosciences complex (2004)

The University of Ottawa’s commitment to green building standards pre-dates the creation of the LEED certification process. In 2003, we accepted a Natural Resources Canada award for our Biosciences complex, recognizing the creation of “Canada’s most energy efficient building”. The building achieved a remarkable 73% reduction in energy consumption compared with standard design practice (Model National Energy Code).

Green Roof (1971)

Potentially the first green roof constructed on a Canadian university campus, uOttawa’s Green Roof was completed in 1971 on top of the Colonel-By building.

Sustainable grounds management (Ongoing)

As an urban university, we are faced with unique challenges when developing and maintaining campus greenspace. Managed by Physical Resources, the University of Ottawa’s environmentally sensitive grounds management approach was first introduced in 1994. In includes:

Integrated pest management (Ongoing)

Updated regularly, the University’s Land Management and Insect Control Program focuses on long-term prevention of disease and pest infestation through a combination of techniques including the use of drought resistant native plant varieties. Pesticides are used only after monitoring and treatments are tailored to remove only targeted organisms. Pest-control materials are selected and applied in a manner that minimizes health risks for both humans and the environment.

Use of drought resistant native plants (Ongoing)

The University’s ongoing commitment to the use of native and site-appropriate plants has significantly reduced the need for watering. The University’s sustainable landscape management practices have and will continue to make a significant contribution to the University’s water conservation efforts.

Responsible irrigation (Ongoing)

Critical to the reduction of water use and sustainable grounds management is the responsible use of water for irrigation. The University utilizes drip irrigation techniques, monitors fluctuations in rainfall and schedules the system to operate in the evening or early morning to minimize evaporation.

Boreal Forest (2005)

Located adjacent to the Biosciences complex, the University established a boreal forest and wetland environment and in the process created a living classroom for all to enjoy.

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Last updated: 2011.08.01