The Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability (CIRS) at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver is on track to open in the summer of 2011. CIRS aims to be the most innovative and high performance building in North America, a “living laboratory” where professors, students and partners demonstrate leading-edge research and develop sustainable design practices, products, systems and policies. The building will push the frontiers of sustainable construction materials and building techniques. It will draw much of its heat from the ground, electricity from the sun, ventilation from the wind, water from the rain–all while reducing the university’s energy use and carbon footprint.
UBC has set some of the most aggressive GHG reduction targets in the world, with the goal of eliminating 100% of GHG emissions by 2050. The UBC Sustainability Initiative (USI), the group responsible for integrating sustainability research, teaching and learning, and operations, will be housed in CIRS.