It’s an exciting day at UBC. Today, we’re welcoming to the Vancouver campus the brand new Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability (CIRS). CIRS aims to “accelerate sustainability — to find solutions to the challenges of urban development faster and more effectively than ever before. Driven by three criteria — to be smart, humane and green — this ‘living laboratory’ demonstrates UBC’s commitment to leadership in sustainability through research and innovation” (CIRS website).
I had the privilege today, in my role as MOA’s Sustainability Coordinator (a volunteer position in UBC’s award-winning Sustainability Coordinator Program), to attend the CIRS opening and get a sneak peek inside the building. It’s beautiful and definitely worth a visit if you’ll be on campus, particularly if you love architecture and have an interest in green buildings or sustainability in general.
CIRS is North America’s greenest building — it goes beyond LEED Platinum certification standards. CIRS sources its heat from a less efficient building nearby, generates electricity from the sun, and obtains most of its water by collecting rain. The building was also constructed to exceed certification under The Living Building Challenge, which means UBC has taken on “a leadership role in ground-testing sustainable urban development and demonstrating that buildings can address not only environmental sustainability, but also economic and social sustainability” (CIRS website). The building is definitely very livable — you’ll be wowed by the amount of natural light and fresh air inside the building. The living green walls and roof are equally impressive.
If you’re planning a visit to MOA in the near future, CIRS is only about a 10-minute walk from the Museum and is located at 2260 West Mall. Enjoy your visit to CIRS and let us know what you think of the building by leaving a comment on this post.