Text description provided by the architects. PROJECT SUMMARY
The Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation was conceived to meet the urgent need for tradespeople, site managers and construction workers who are skilled in the practices of sustainable building. It is also designed to be one of most innovative and advanced sustainable facilities in the world, designed to the standards of the Living Building Challenge, the most rigorous sustainability program on the planet. CEI was selected to lead the project due to the reputation of our design charrette to kick-start the design process and get support and contributions from a diverse group of stakeholders.
The integrated design team recognized that achieving a facility with net-zero energy and water consumption, as required for Living Building certification, requires a three-pronged approach to energy and water use: conserve, capture and create. Additionally, the design had to be highly adaptable, so that as time passes, new technologies can easily replace old, ensuring relevance and currency with the changing curriculum. All project features are designed around these realities.
The most exhilarating aspect of the Centre of Excellence is that the building itself will be used extensively as part of the teaching curriculum. The design allows most aspects of the building and its systems to be accessible and demonstrable, and live building data will be available to learn from. To encourage conservation and behavioural adaptation, energy use will be metered at each classroom, workshop, office and other areas. Real-time energy usage will be demonstrated in each space with red/yellow/green indicators and full LED displays showing comprehensive data.
The Centre of Excellence is a living experiment in sustainable innovation, and a testament to the power of integrated design. We hope the lessons learned from its design, construction and ongoing operations will educate its students and inspire other communities to follow suit, resulting in a building that lives up to its name.
• Innovative and efficient composite wood and
concrete panels contain the mechanical and
electrical infrastructure required to integrate the gymnasium with the building’s systems.
• A photovoltaic array — the largest for a non-utility organization in Western Canada — supplies energy to the building.
• Vacuum tube solar panels supply the building’s hot water needs.
• Accessible green roof planted with
local flora attracts local species.
• The design takes advantage of the energy, light and ventilation that the natural environment has to offer.
• Nearly 100 percent B.C. wood, includes local pine
beetle-kill and FSC timber.
Text Provided by CEI Architecture Planning Interiors.