NAIT’s Productivity and Innovation Centre strikes Gold

Published on December 02, 2020

EDMONTON - NAIT has struck gold once again—LEED® Gold, that is. 

NAIT’s  Productivity and Innovation Centre (PIC) achieved Gold level certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design ® (LEED) rating system, which serves as the international yardstick for measuring sustainable and environmentally conscious building design and construction in over 160 countries.  

PIC’s high scores in design, indoor environmental quality, and water efficiency innovation made way for NAIT’s second LEED Gold certification, following the Feltham Centre, which achieved the same status in June 2017

Director of NAIT Capital Projects, Greg Topinka says that evolving LEED ratings, and spaces with greater energy demands like applied research labs can make it difficult to achieve Gold certification. He adds that exhaust requirements and air change rates required in lab spaces make it especially difficult to meet the energy performance levels necessary to achieve the Gold level.  

Opened in 2018, the Productivity and Innovation Centre serves as the front door for industry where product testing, technology adoption, training and certificates, productivity and innovation and applied research take place. As the home of Industry Solutions, PIC houses numerous flexible workspaces that are adaptable in size and function, to provide NAIT industry partners and clients the space they need to expand ideas and explore solutions. 

Quick Facts

  • Located at the eastern edge of NAIT’s Main Campus, the Productivity and Innovation Centre (PIC) is 17,650 square metres (190,000 square feet) in size, making it one of North America’s largest innovation spaces. 
  • PIC boasts 226 solar panels, which are integrated into the building façade on the south and east sides, which generate 67 MWh of electricity per year and are used in distributed energy research. An additional 149 panels are located on the roof of the mechanical penthouse, generating an additional 51 MHh of electricity per year. 
  • Other features: 
    • Green housekeeping program reduces the use of harmful chemicals 
    • Low-emitting paint, coatings, flooring and other surfaces used to improve indoor environmental quality 
    • >30% reduction in water consumption from low-flow fixtures 
    • Attractive, low-maintenance landscaping that features drought-tolerant plants, without the need for an irrigation system 
    • Energy cost savings of 40% vs. a baseline building 
    • >95% of construction waste was diverted or recycled 
    • Over 17% of materials came from recycled materials 
    • Approximately 22% of materials were manufactured locally 
  • PIC was made possible thanks to an investment of $34.9 million from the federal government’s Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund 


“With the focus on sustainable design and construction increasing, it takes more innovation to achieve the rating system requirements set out by LEED. We’re very proud to have built a sustainable space that meets the LEED certification ranking system and reflects the innovative work that takes place within the Productivity and Innovation Centre.”

Gregory Topinka, NAIT Director of Capital Projects 

Learn More

About NAIT

The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) is a leading Canadian polytechnic, delivering education in science, technology and the environment; business; health and skilled trades. With over 34,000 credit and non-credit students and a 98 per cent employer satisfaction rate, NAIT grads help fuel the economic engine of the province. NAIT also contributes to Alberta's prosperity by helping businesses and communities become more competitive through industry-driven research and corporate training. Recognized as one of Alberta's top employers, NAIT provides outstanding returns on investment for its graduates, industry partners, the provincial government and the people of Alberta.

Media inquiries

Nicole Graham
NAIT Media Relations
C 780.916.8307 E

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