Accelerating Sustainability: New Super-Green Research Lab

The greenest building in North America is coming to Vancouver, B.C. The University of British Columbia in Vancouver has begun developing the Centre for Interactive Research for Sustainability (CIRS), a "living laboratory" where both sustainable research and studies on the building's effectiveness as a sustainable working environment will be conducted. The project is being hailed as the highest-performing, most environmentally innovative building ever to be conceived and built in North America, with many sustainable accoutrements on its credentials. It will surpass the esoteric Platinum LEED certification, and its design goals [PDF] include greenhouse gas-neutrality and net energy generation using a 250-kilowatt fuel cell. Rainwater collection will provide all drinking water, and all waste, both liquid and solid, will be treated and managed on-site. All workspace will be 100 percent day-lit, and the building will make extensive use of photovoltaic cells and solar hot water collectors. Architects Busby Perkins Will are leading the project, and have some impressive sustainability credentials themselves, including Canada's first new construction to be awarded LEED Gold. Preliminary plans have the building ready for occupancy early in 2008. ::Centre for Interactive Research for Sustainability via ::Inhabitat