The University of British Columbia’s (UBC) Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability (CIRS) has received the university’s first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) platinum certification.
“There are only 108 LEED platinum buildings across the country and we are absolutely delighted that CIRS now stands among them,” says Ray Cole, director of the CIRS and a professor in the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at UBC.
Designed by Perkins+Will, the living laboratory will promote research and innovation in sustainability. It is a space for students, researchers and partners to test and demonstrate designs and technologies that advance understanding about sustainable building and community practices. Ongoing research at the centre includes measuring how indoor environments impact behaviour, health and happiness.
Sustainable design features of the CIRS include using waste heat from a neighbouring building and harvesting rainwater as a source of potable water. The building is primarily made of wood and stores more than 900 tonnes of carbon.
“As an innovative example of regenerative sustainability, the CIRS building will help us understand how buildings can offer positive benefits for both the environment and their inhabitants,” says Cole.
Since 2008, UBC has been committed to ensuring all new and renovated buildings at the university meet a minimum of LEED gold certification. Five buildings at the Vancouver campus have received this rating thus far.