Carleton Creates Unique Degree Program in Conservation and Sustainability

Carleton University is launching a new Bachelor of Engineering in Architectural Conservation and Sustainability that will meet a growing demand in the field. The program, which begins in September 2011, will focus on the restoration of heritage structures, the reuse and retrofit of existing buildings and the design of new energy-efficient and environmentally friendly buildings.

“As the design and construction of sustainable buildings requires close co-operation among the team of architects and engineers, this new interdisciplinary program will meet this need by producing graduates who will follow green principles and practices,” says Rafik Goubran, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Design.

Students will be able to choose one of two specializations. The structural stream will concentrate on conservation and sustainability in the design of new structures and the assessment and retrofit of existing structures. The environmental stream will focus on sustainable building practices with an emphasis on water quality and conservation, air quality, life cycle analysis and disposal of materials and waste streams. In their final year, the students will complete a specialized design project requiring them to solve real-world problems in their respective areas. They can also pursue co-op placements.

The program has been designed to meet the strict professional and academic requirements of the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board.

“This degree will give our students an opportunity to incorporate cutting-edge research and technologies into the design of buildings that work with our environment,” says Engineering Professor Paul Van Geel, who helped design the new program. “For example, students will learn how to use natural light more effectively to reduce energy demands for heating and cooling while also using the sun’s energy to produce solar power. And students will learn how to use our water resources with rain-water and grey-water recycling through to the design of green roofs that control and filter storm water runoff.”

Students will have access to top-notch faculty, some of whom are already helping to produce green engineers through Carleton’s Bachelor of Engineering in Sustainable and Renewable Energy Engineering program that was launched two years ago and a Master’s degree in sustainable energy engineering and sustainable energy policy that started last fall. The university has state-of-the-art engineering labs and architectural facilities, considered among the finest in North America. 

More information about all of Carleton’s engineering programs is available at

One of Carleton’s unofficial colours is green. Our faculty and students are focused on developing sustainable solutions to critical real-world problems facing the environment, offering an enviable mix of undergraduate and graduate programs with research cornerstones ( and links to government agencies like Environment Canada’s National Wildlife Research Centre, which is housed on Carleton’s campus. From innovative research on better ways to produce safer drinking water and waste-water to implementing carbon emissions reduction strategies and assessing the impacts of climate change on Canada’s North, Carleton is becoming a leader in environmental stewardship. The university established a Sustainable Energy Research Centre (CSERC) to research innovative community-based ways to reduce energy consumption. Aspiring architects have an opportunity to model a sustainable village in Batawa, Ontario and their School of Public Policy and Administration is helping to shape debate and regulation on the environmental front. Carleton is engaged in an aggressive campaign to make the campus more sustainable.