Perkins+Will achieves first Living Building Challenge Certification with Vancouver visitors center

The VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre was recognized for its use of healthy building materials, on-site renewable resources, and filtered rainwater to meet greywater requirements.

May 23, 2016 |
Perkins+Will achieves first Living Building Challenge Certification with Vancouver visitors center

Inspired by an orchid, the VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre in Vancouver has curved walls and a floating roof. Image courtesy Perkins+Will. Click here to enlarge.

Perkins+Will announced that the VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre received Living Building Challenge (LBC) Petal Certification by the International Living Future Institute.

The certification is the most advanced measurement of sustainability in the built environment and recognizes projects in performance categories called Petals. The VanDusen Visitor Centre achieved certification in the categories of Site, Materials, Health and Beauty.

Located in Vancouver, British Columbia, the VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre was inspired by the form and natural systems of a native orchid. Representing undulating petals, the roof appears to float above the building’s curved walls and flows from a central oculus and into the surrounding landscape. A multi-disciplinary design team that included architects, engineers, landscape architects, and ecologists collaborated to integrate natural and human systems in order to restore and enhance the ecological integrity of the site.

The Visitor Centre achieved LEED Canada-NC 1.0 Platinum Certified by the Canada Green Building Council and was named “Most Sustainable Building of the Year” in 2014 by World Architecture News. The project’s many innovations include: the procurement of healthy building materials; the integration of on-site renewable resources, along with passive design strategies, to significantly reduce energy consumption; the use of filtered rainwater for the building’s greywater requirements; and the treatment of 100% of blackwater by an on-site bioreactor.

“Almost a decade ago the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation commissioned Perkins+Will to create a signature, green facility to serve as a model of sustainable building for the City of Vancouver, to reflect its goal of becoming the greenest city in the world by 2020, and to raise the profile of the garden, both locally and internationally,” says Danica Djurkovic, Director of Facilities Planning and Development, City of Vancouver. “I am proud to say this project has exceeded our expectations. Since its opening, the garden has experienced a 50% increase in visitors and revenue and the Visitor Centre has become one of the most iconic buildings in Vancouver and in Canada.”

The VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre is the first project in Vancouver to be Living Building Challenge Petal certified and is one of only a handful of projects registered in British Columbia.

The Building Team included: Perkins+Will (architect), Ledcor Construction (contractor), Fast + Epp (SE), Integral Group (ME, EE), and R.F. Binnie & Associates (CE).

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