De sacrés jurons au Québec
Dressed to the nines
Gliding safely to research success
Student-led alliance promotes learning
Ici et là
Here and there
Solar panels are just one the many features of the new Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability.
UBC’s greenest new building puts
spotlight on sustainability
“Living laboratory” will serve as a test bed for innovation and research
PHO TO: MAR TIN DEE
there are “green” buildings that incorporate
principles of sustainability and there are research
institutes that test the concepts of sustainability.
The recently opened Centre for Interactive
Research on Sustainability at the University of
British Columbia aims to do both.
Not only is the building being touted by the
university as one of the greenest yet, but it also
will serve as a “living laboratory” to demon-
strate sustainability through innovation and re-
search, says John Robinson, executive director of
the UBC Sustainability Initiative. “We’re going
to treat it as a research test bed over the whole
life of the building.” Even the people working in
the building will be followed to measure their
health, happiness and productivity.
energy use, carbon footprint and environmental
impact. It does this, for example, by using waste
heat from the building next door for its own heating needs and by using rain water and treating
and recycling it afterwards. As well, because it’s a
mainly wooden structure, the building sequesters
more carbon than the amount emitted in its construction and in the manufacture of materials
used in the building.
While the new CIRS is the jewel in the crown,
the whole campus is starting to incorporate the
principles of sustainability on a system-wide basis, says Dr. Robinson. The goal is to integrate
the operational and the academic, “so that every
operational decision at UBC is viewed through a
sustainability lens and explored for teaching and
research opportunities.” – léo charbonneau