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VanDusen Visitor Centre most sustainable building in Vancouver

July 11 2016

"I’m proud that this building has exceeded all expectations and is the first in Vancouver to be awarded the Petal Certification," said Vancouver Park Board Chair Sarah Kirby-Yung.

Vandusen-visitor-centre

VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre has achieved Living Building Challenge Petal Certification—a first in Vancouver.

Advanced sustainability measurement

The certification by the International Future Living Institute is the most advanced measurement of sustainability in the built environment and recognizes projects in performance categories called Petals. The Centre is one of only a handful of Petal Certified projects in BC.

The VanDusen Visitor Centre achieved certification in the categories of:

  • Site
  • Materials
  • Health and Beauty

Benchmark for sustainable design

The $22-milllion Visitor Centre opened in October 2011, setting a benchmark for sustainable design and conservation. There has been an estimated 50% increase in visitors since the Visitor Centre opened.
 
"With its green roof and beautiful orchid-inspired design, the Visitor Centre has become both a great civic landmark and a model of sustainability,” said Vancouver Park Board Chair Sarah Kirby-Yung. "“I’m proud that this building has exceeded all expectations and is the first in Vancouver to be awarded the Petal Certification.”

Reflects greenest city goal

Vancouver City Manager Sadhu Johnston says the Centre “reflects our goal to become the greenest city in the world by 2020. Sustainability features, such as geothermal and solar energy, have allowed it to also achieve LEED Platinum, in addition to the Living Building Challenge Petal Certification.”

Innovate Visitor Centre

In 2014, the Centre was named “Most Sustainable Building of the Year” by World Architecture News. The project’s many innovations include, the:

  • Procurement of healthy building materials
  • Integration of on-site renewable resources along with passive design strategies, to significantly reduce energy consumption
  • Use of filtered rainwater for the building’s greywater requirements
  • Treatment of 100% of blackwater by an on-site bioreactor—the first of its kind in Vancouver

Design team

The design team of architect Perkins + Will and landscape architect Cornelia Hahn Oberlander developed the master plan for the Visitor Centre.

Financial contributions

The City invested $8.3 million into the project, the Government of Canada invested $6.9 million, VanDusen Botanical Garden Association invested $4.7 million, and the Province of British Columbia invested $2 million.

About VanDusen Botanical Garden

Twenty-two-hectare (55-acre) VanDusen Botanica Garden has more than 250,000 plants from around the world. The plant collections represent ecosystems that range from tropical South Africa, to the Himalayas, to South America, and the Mediterranean, across Canada’s Boreal forests and Great Plains to plants native to the Pacific Northwest.
 
The garden is jointly-operated by Vancouver Park Board and the VanDusen Botanical Garden Association.