UNB breaks ground on greener student housing

The University of New Brunswick’s Saint John campus will hold the school’s first residence building to utilize geothermal heating and cooling.

“Geothermal is basically our effort as a university to continue to look at sustainability,” says director of facility management Kevin Simpson, “and how do we better serve ourselves moving forward from a utility perspective.”

A ceremonial groundbreaking was held on Friday morning, though construction has already begun in hopes of having the building ready for September.

UNB Saint John is seeing steady growth when it comes to its student population, filling up existing on-campus housing.

“There was always an interest in having another residence,” says Petra Hauf, UNB Saint John vice-president, “because our residence here are 100 per cent occupied since five years now, and there are waiting lists every year.”

And with environmentalism top-of-mind among younger generations, student reception has been positive.

“I think it is a really big thing for students,” says Patrick Hickey, President of the UNB Student Representative Council.

“We see that, for young people, climate change and the environment are major priorities and I think that it does show a good commitment that they’re prioritizing this.”

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