South Queens Middle School was designed to be at the forefront in terms of education, but it also is doing so with technology as well.
© Nick Moase Photo
Electric Vehicle chargers are a feature of the new South Queens Middle School that plans for a future where electric cars are more commonplace.
In the school parking lot are two Electric Vehicle (EV) chargers, readying the school for a future where more of those vehicles are on the road.
Users can pay a fee to recharge their car, usually by swiping a credit card or prepaid card.
The cost to recharge an electric vehicle will vary, depending on the size of the batteries, the type of car, and electricity rates, but typically range from $2 to $4. Current electric cars have a range of 140 to 180 km.
Terry Smith-Lamothe, supervising architect for the province of Nova Scotia, says they were installed because the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal (TIR) is looking to the future where electric cars will become more common.
It also fits into the departments goal of make more environmentally friendly buildings.
"We have a policy at TIR that all buildings have to be LEED certified gold," says Smith-Lamothe.
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and buildings have to meet certain standards of environmental friendliness, comfort level, and air handling levels. There are four levels of certification, basic, silver, gold and platinum, and they are earned by reaching a certain point level.
Smith-Lamoth says it was up to the architects of the school to decide what points they would go for to get gold, but they were cleared through TIR.
"We didn't tell them to do it, but we are OK with them doing it because the future is going to meet us there one day," he says about the EV chargers.
They also do not add a lot to the overall cost says Smith-Lamonte, at about $3,000 each.
Other things used to reach LEED gold certification in the school include low flow water fixtures, low emission building materials, and locally sourced maple for the gym floor. Over 50 per cent of the wood used in the total construction of the school was also sourced locally.
The South Shore Regional School Board does not have a specific policy regarding the EV chargers, it is on school property and meant for staff or visitors to the school.
However expect to see EV chargers pop up more often in new provincial buildings in the future, says Smith-Lamothe. They have already been installed in the new Lunenburg Academy and Bedford High School, and future justice centres and hospitals will likely see them installed as well.