A person wearing a safety vest watches as a crane lifts a piece of pipe off the ground.

In August, the construction crew working on the SWITCH project lifted pipes to the top of the Guelph-Humber bridge, adding to the extensive network of pipes on campus.  

The University of Guelph-Humber building, currently with its own heating and cooling systems, will soon be fed by new, low-carbon heating systems from Humber’s North Campus Central Plant just a few hundred meters away.    

SWITCH is the retrofit addressing Humber’s biggest source of carbon emissions at North Campus, which is the heating system, by moving away from natural gas in favour of electricity.  

“Coordinating construction while campus stays active is rigorous work. The project timeline is organized around the academic calendar to avoid interfering with our lively campus activity,” said Aman Hehar, associate director, Energy and Climate Change at Humber.

Students and staff on campus the day of the installation could see the crane lifting pipes to the top of the bridge and workers welding them in place.

A crane prepares to lift a piece of pipe off the ground.

The Barret Centre for Technology Innovation was connected to the Central Plant earlier in the summer. The heating pipes on the ceiling are visible when crossing the bridge from the LRC to the building.

In the next year, the residence buildings will also be integrated to the campus’ central heating and cooling systems.

SWITCH will play a significant role as Humber works towards its goal of becoming net zero by 2050. Once operational, the project will result in a 70 per cent reduction in natural gas use at North Campus along with a reduction of carbon emissions by 40 per cent.