Vancouver Convention Centre West/Expansion Project
Vancouver, BC, Canada
261,360 sf Extensive Greenroofs
Greenroofs.com Featured Project August 18, 2022
The Vancouver Convention Centre West/Expansion Project is a physically stunning embodiment of ecological and sustainable design, and its expansive living roof profile jutting into the Vancouver Harbor is an exceptional sight to see from the downtown waterfront, water, and mountains beyond.
Residents and visitors can experience the change of seasons reflected on the greenroof. LMN Architects’ vision was to ‘create a place to learn about urban ecology, and see how sustainability can make a difference.’ What an understatement!
As the world’s first double Platinum LEED building, it has been setting the standard since 2008. In 2010 Aramis and I had the pleasure to visit here while attending CitiesAlive!, the 8th Annual Green Roof and Wall Conference held by Green Roofs for Healthy Cities. While we didn’t get to go up onto the main greenroofs, the natural setting, tasteful interiors, public spaces, and amenities were impressive.
The Vancouver Convention Centre West/Expansion Project embodies the many challenges and benefits of environmental design, and was undoubtedly one of the greatest examples I included in my 2016 presentation, “Top 10 Green InfrastructureEco-Agents in a Climate-Changing World.” So what do I mean by Eco-Agents? Like Secret Agents, but these are out in the open, doing good for the planet in a big way!
Excerpt from the Greenroofs.com Project Profile:
The multi award-winning Vancouver Convention Centre West is LEED® Platinum for New Construction and LEED® Platinum for Existing Buildings and is the first convention center in the world to receive this highest level of LEED certification.
Designed by LMN Architects, it occupies a former brownfield site on the downtown Vancouver, BC waterfront and lies approximately 14 acres on land and 8 acres over water. Appearing 12 stories above Coal Harbor, landscape architects PWL Partnership led the design team for the 6-acre self-regenerating green roof.
With floor-to-ceiling glass throughout the expansion, the Soprema Sopranature green roof encompasses over 26 different species comprising 400,000 indigenous plants, grasses, and seed, providing natural habitat to birds, insects, and small mammals.
The largest in Canada and the largest non-industrial living roof in North America, this unique ecosystem is planted with over 6″ of growing media and is home to 4 European honey beehives, providing pollination and honey for the ‘scratch’ kitchen. The green roof is designed to act as an insulator, projected to reduce summer heat gains up to 95% and winter heat losses up to 26%.
The roof slopes are quite unique, ranging from 3 to 56%. The walkway areas between the Convention Centre and Seaplane Court have American Hydrotech Garden Roof Assembly greenroofs of varying slopes, terminating in 81°. Their GardNet® system was installed to retain the dramatic slopes and 1-gallon plants were planted within the cells. Entomologists from the University of British Columbia are using the roof to study insects and learn how living roofs contribute to biodiversity in urban environments.
Some other sustainable elements include: a restored marine habitat built into the foundation dramatically improves the water quality and growth of a large variety of sea life; a sophisticated black water treatment plant recycles grey and black water for toilet use and rooftop irrigation with moisture sensors and 43 kilometers of drip irrigation; and the building program recycles an average of 180,000 kilograms of materials annually, nearly half of the total volume of waste generated.
Offering spectacular views of Vancouver Harbor with a dramatic mountain backdrop, the Vancouver Convention Centre West creates a community experience that is simultaneously a building, an urban plaza, a park, and the most visible evidence of the project’s deep approach to ecology – its living roof, mixing the energy of convention visitors with the life of the city.
Owner: BC Pavilion Corporation
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Building Program: Multi-Use
Greenroof Type: Semi-Intensive
Size: 261,360 sq.ft.
Slope: 3 – 56%
Access: Inaccessible main roofs, Accessible over lower restaurant and walkways areas
MUSSON CATTELL MACKEY PARTNERSHIP; DOWNS/ARCHAMBAULT & PARTNERS; LMN ARCHITECTS
PWL PARTNERSHIP LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS INC.
HORTICULTURAL & ECOLOGICAL CONSULTATION:
PAUL KEPHART, RANA CREEK HABITAT RESTORATION
FLYNN CANADA LTD
SOPRANATURE GREEN ROOF SYSTEM:
GARDEN ROOF ASSEMBLY & GARDNET® SLOPED ASSEMBLY:
AMERICAN HYDROTECH, INC.
PLANT PROPAGATION FOR LIVING ROOF:
ELECTRIC FIELD VECTOR MAPPING (EFVM):
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