Open a box of crayons and find the one labeled “Green”. You might think that that crayon represents the best definition of green, but come 2011, the University of British Columbia claims that it will be known around the world as the de facto standard of green — or, at the very least, the maker of the world’s greenest building.
According to Inhabitat, the University of British Columbia and design firm Busby Perkins + Will are collaborating on UBC’s Center for Interactive Research on Sustainability, or CIRS. “When it is finished in 2011,” says Inhabitat, “UBC says that the building will be a net energy producer thanks to on-site fuel cells, solar panels, solar hot water heaters, ground source heat pumps, and a biomass co-generation system.” UBC provided further details, explaining that CIRS will function as a living laboratory by monitoring building processes including heating, cooling, lighting, equipment use, water harvesting and treatment, building occupancy, inhabitant behavior and more. Additionally, CIRS will do away with a reliance on municipal water systems by storing and using rainwater and stormwater.
The CIRS website proclaims that the facility will be located on UBC’s main campus in Vancouver, but the facility’s multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral research team will include partners from various other universities such as Simon Fraser University and the Emily Carr University of Art+Design. The $37-million project will exist to “find solutions to the challenges of urban development faster and more effectively than ever before.”