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Normandeau School
Passive Green House

The Normandeau School greenhouse, a flagship project under the Come Grow With Us initiative, showcases an innovative paradigm shift in Alberta’s greenhouse industry. Employing the latest building technologies, this cutting-edge facility not only provides a year-round, energy-efficient environment for plant cultivation but also sets new standards for sustainability and efficiency in agricultural construction.



Red Deer, Alberta, Canada


Energy Efficiency
Sustainable Materials
Cost Effective

Completion Date

June 2023

Image courtesy of Red Deer Public Schools.

Normandeau School Passive Green House

In partnership with the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), ZS2 undertook an innovative project to build a passive solar greenhouse for Normandeau School, aligning with the school district’s Come Grow with Us initiative. The primary objective was to create a sustainable, energy-efficient, and environmentally friendly space for year-round plant cultivation despite the challenging climate of Alberta.

Constructed in just 4.5 days with a four person crew, the 2,204-square-foot greenhouse boasts a 50% estimated energy savings, thanks to the advanced insulating properties of TechPanels. The project required no disposal bins, minimizing waste and showcasing the material’s eco-friendly nature.

This project is unique in that it supports research into leading edge passive solar building technologies that will reduce the carbon footprint through a sustainable, replicable, low impact and cost effective four season green house.

“Creating a living classroom will allow over 400 students from Kindergarten to Grade 8 to apply knowledge in a hands on environment. No other school in our community will have this kind of learning space and opportunity. Lessons learned will permeate across all grades and curricular areas.”
– Normendau School

Real-time Monitoring and Sensor Integration: The TechPanels were equipped with sensors during construction, enabling real-time monitoring of the greenhouse’s efficiency amid Alberta’s unpredictable weather. This data-driven approach ensures optimal performance of the structure and analysis of measured R-Values.

“In September 2023, SAIT reported on initial analysis of the energy performance of the TechPanel structure. “In general, the actual performance of the envelope might be better than the manufacturer’s specification.”  Read the report here.

Clear polycarbonate sheets were integrated into the design to trap heat effectively while allowing abundant natural light and heat optimization. This balance creates an ideal environment for plant cultivation in Alberta’s cold climate.

The collaboration between ZS2 and SAIT, as showcased in the Normandeau School greenhouse project, demonstrates the transformative potential of TechPanels in creating sustainable and resilient structures for agriculture. The success of this case study underscores the material’s positive impact on energy efficiency, waste reduction, and overall environmental consciousness in agricultural construction.

Be Part of The Global Shift in
Sustainable Building Materials

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