By: Nouran Abdellatif

Algonquin College is being honoured with two award nominations by the Greater Nepean Chamber of Commerce.

The Algonquin Centre for Construction Excellence (ACCE) was nominated in the ‘green’ category as the building incorporates environmental sustainability in the way it functions.

Chris Hahn, academic chair of construction, trades and building systems says sustainability was one of the ACCE’s themes. There is a green roof, a living wall to renew the oxygen in the building, cisterns to collect rainwater and censors that monitor energy use; all of which students get to see for themselves, tying into another of the themes ‘living lab’ or using the building as an educational tool.

“The [themes], in particular the sustainability theme, grew out of the feedback from students, faculty and employers in the community,” said Hahn. “So focus groups were held and [sustainability] was a big theme that came out of that.”

Chair of the awards committee, Cynthia Sutcliffe, says the award, which was introduced last year, celebrates a business, individual or organization’s commitment to the environment while meeting commercial demands.

The second category the college was nominated for is the ‘not-for-profit’ on account of the work the Algonquin Foundation does.

“This award is presented to a charity or not for profit, volunteer-driven organization that actively participates in the Nepean community; demonstrates a high degree of support and assistance to others [and] is committed to growth and expanding programs,” said Sutcliffe.

Since its creation nine years ago, the Algonquin College Foundation has raised $30 million in cash and pledges for the college, said executive director Brenda Rothwell. This money has gone toward the ACCE building, the campuses in Pembroke and Perth, scholarships and bursaries among others.

“We touch every sector [through alumni] and the Nepean Chamber represents all sectors too,” said Rothwell on the reason she thinks the foundation was nominated.

Rothwell said it’s an honour to be nominated by an organization the college respects so much.