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sustainable architecture
design strategies + innovative technologies that promote a sustainable built environment
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Earth Sciences Building / University of British Columbia

Earth Sciences Building / University of British Columbia | sustainable architecture |

The Earth Sciences Building is located on the Vancouver campus of the University of British Columbia. It is the new home for three of UBC’s Science departments—Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Statistics, and the Pacific Institute of the Mathematical Sciences.

In addition to enhancing the growing links between each department by providing valuable opportunities for shared learning and collaboration, the ESB expands the Faculty of Science’s public face and helps to create a vibrant and animated centre for the Faculty on campus.

The wood structure provides a welcoming environment, and as an added environmental benefit, the 1,317 cubic meters of wood in the structure store 1,094 tonnes of carbon, the equivalent of taking 415 cars off the road for a year. To provide rain cover for pedestrians, a solid wood canopy wraps three sides of the project. It extends from inside the building, where it forms the interior ceiling finish of the museum and cafe, blurring the boundaries between interior and exterior space...

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Jameson House | Foster + Partners

Jameson House | Foster + Partners | sustainable architecture |

Jameson House is a new 35-story mixed-use tower in the heart of Vancouver, and completed just at the end of last year, already the building is almost fully occupied. The project combines the restoration of heritage buildings with new construction: the lower level offices and shops tie into the existing streetscape to reinvigorate the downtown neighborhood, while the apartments above face dramatic views of the bay and create a new landmark on the skyline.

Fusing old and new, the site connects the city’s financial centre with its emerging creative hub, and the scheme integrates two 1920s Beaux Arts structures: the entire internal double-height volume of the A-listed Ceperley Rounsfell Building has been returned to its original configuration and the facade of the B-listed Royal Financial Building has been retained....

Sir Norman Foster said: “Vancouver has a spectacular location, surrounded by mountains and the sea. The design makes the most of the city’s fantastic natural setting, with balconies and deep bay windows looking out towards the landscape. Jameson House further develops a number of key themes that have been integral to our work for many years. The project combines restoration with new construction; it is high-density and mixed-use, offering a sustainable model for urban living; and it demonstrates innovation, both in its evolution of the high-rise building and its progressive environmental agenda.”

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West 21st House by Frits de Vries

West 21st House by Frits de Vries | sustainable architecture |

This 3070 sq ft single family residence with detached garage is located on a 42 ft wide lot in Vancouver. The Dunbar Residence explores the potential for diversity of spatial experience in a home with a flexible plan that accommodates changes in everyday family life. In response to the owners‘ love of nature, interior-exterior relationships are established with outdoor patios and gardens at all levels. Spatially, light is used to define scale and intimacy within the home.

Designed and oriented for passive solar, the project also employs ultra high efficiency windows, solar hot water heating and a high performance heating / cooling system, including heat recovery that allow the home to operate with low energy consumption. The careful selection of appliances, plumbing fixtures, and lighting also reduce energy and water consumption. Interior elements, such as flooring and millwork, include recycled materials and low/no emission finishes. Planters on the roof reduce heat reflectance and rainwater runoff. Landscape design makes use of native, drought tolerant plant species and reclaimed stone.

The home was built by Natural Balance Home Builders Inc., a construction company that specializes in green building.

Luci Dee's curator insight, August 25, 2013 2:55 PM

Tagging for the landscape concept

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Urban Art: Vancouver’s Mixed-Use Tower by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)

Urban Art: Vancouver’s Mixed-Use Tower by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) | sustainable architecture |

A BIG step forward for Vancouver’s latest mixed-use tower making international headlines, as the 497-foot tall proposal has received an “enthusiastic endorsement” from the city’s design panel.

The Bjarke Ingels Group-designed tower promises to add a twist to Vancouver’s skyline and create a new identity for an undefined section of town at the fringe of the city’s residential area. The 700,000 square foot complex – which contains shopping, housing and rental apartments – was praised by the panel for anchoring itself on a nine-story podium that occupies the disused, interstitial spaces found between the Granville Street Bridge’s entry and exit ramps.

BIG proposes to transform these spaces, which are dominated by cars and lack human activity, into a cultural and pedestrian destination. Glass “prisms” will provide retail and public space, while existing building facades and bridge surfaces will be converted into a dramatic outdoor gallery. In addition, Bjarke envisions the road which crosses below the bridge to become a host for outdoor markets, festivals and concerts. Impressed, panel member Peter Wreglesworth described the project as “whole composition that is urban art.”

GoodLife Real Estate's curator insight, March 8, 2013 2:36 PM

Finally, some serious variety in our urban architecture. Urban Art Writ Large!

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The new VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre by Perkins+Will

The new VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre by Perkins+Will | sustainable architecture |
This is the VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre. It’s a new addition to the city of Vancouver, Canada.

The green building was designed by Perkins+Will and it bends beautifully in the surrounding landscape. The combination between modern architecture and nature is in constant balance and the design and the materials contribute to this effect. Not only that the visitor center is surrounded by nature but it’s also a green building designed with green building strategies to help it achieve net-zero energy...

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High-tech greenhouse planned for downtown Vancouver parkade rooftop

High-tech greenhouse planned for downtown Vancouver parkade rooftop | sustainable architecture |

The roof of a city-owned downtown parkade will be converted to a high-tech vertical growing space capable of producing 95 tonnes of fresh vegetables a year.

Vancouver-based Valcent Products has entered into a memorandum of understanding with EasyPark, the corporate manager of the city’s parkades, to build a 6,000-square-foot greenhouse on underutilized space on the roof of the parkade at 535 Richards Street, in the heart of the downtown core.

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