Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability

B.C. research facility wins Green Building Award

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability (CIRS) at the University of British Columbia has received the 2015 Green Building Award from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) and the Canada Green Building Council.

Built in 2011, the 5,675-square-metre, LEED Platinum certified research institute is one of the world’s few buildings to be considered regenerative, with net-positive energy, net-zero water and net-zero carbon operations and construction.

To pursue the Living Building Challenge, considered the built environment’s most demanding performance standard, CIRS harvests sunlight, captures waste heat from a nearby building and exchanges heating and cooling with the ground.

As a result, 600 megawatt hours of surplus energy is returned to campus and 170 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions are removed every year.

Such sustainable features, with a focus on natural light and ventilation, reflect the institute’s mission to accelerate sustainable building and urban development.

“The significance of this year’s green building award is clear,” said Sam Oboh, president of the RAIC. “The future of designing sustainable built environments is as much about the ways in which we think, work and interact, as it is about lowering that energy consumption of our workplace.”

A three-member jury of architects adjudicated the award, which will be presented at the RAIC Festival of Architecture in Calgary, taking place from June 3 to 6.