UBC Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability

Vancouver, BC

This Centre is a hub for sustainability at UBC, containing offices and labs, a 425-seat auditorium, meeting rooms, a cafe, and open spaces for studying and socializing. This project has achieved LEED Platinum Certification, obtaining a number of sustainability and high-performance awards.

CIRS was the first demonstration project of UBC's Campus as a Living Laboratory Initiative. Constructed with Glulam beams and columns throughout, supporting primarily exposed solid laminated 2x4 floors, wood was used to its maximum capabilities. The four environmental net-positive areas for CIRS are construction carbon, energy, operational carbon, and water. The building generates its own power from waste and renewable resources, while producing drinking water from collected rainwater. The potable water produced can provide up to a three-month supply. With a closed-loop system, it produces 100% reclaimed water from all fixtures of the building and reuses it for irrigation and washrooms.

This project used roughly 940 cubic meters of wooden products which can be grown as quickly as three minutes within British Columbia forests alone. With an approximate total of 2173 metric tons of carbon dioxide (by using wood over other building materials, and the amount stored within the wood), it is the equivalent of removing 415 cars from the road for one year, or the energy to operate a home for 185 years.

This project was LEED® Platinum certified.

Read the case study.

Architect : Perkins + Will


⦁ North American Wood Design & Building Award - 2012

⦁ Excellence in Structural Engineering Award for New Buildings 30$ to 100$ Million - 2010

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