The new child care building at Simon Fraser University is designed to collect more water than it flushes and generate enough energy to sustain itself and have some left over for its neighbours.
More than just sustainable, the UniverCity Childcare Centre is poised to be a net contributor rather than a consumer of energy and precious resources.
“We thought if we are going to put anybody in the greenest building in Canada we should start with the kids,” said project leader Dale Mikkelsen. “That way what is weird to us just becomes normal to them. They will move on and wonder why they aren’t flushing the toilet with rainwater.”
SFU’s Community Trust, which develops and administers the on-campus sustainable community, opted to attempt a Living Building-certified structure, a standard that when fully achieved goes beyond the industry’s usual sustainable building standards.
Most buildings in the neighbourhood are built to silver and gold LEED standard, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design green building rating system.
But the sustainability knob on the Living Building standard goes up to 11. READ MORE >>
Painters Hall in Salem, Ore. and IDeAs Z2 Design Facility in San Jose, Calif., have been awarded third-party certification, just five months after the International Living Future Institute launched the Net Zero Energy Building Certification option
Two projects, both existing building retrofits, have completed the first full set of third-party audits for Net Zero Energy Building Certification from the International Living Future Institute.
Painters Hall, a community building in the Pringle Creek community in Salem, Ore., and IDeAs Z2 Design Facility, an office building for Integrated Design Associates in San Jose, Calif., each earned certification as net zero energy buildings. Painters Hall also achieved ‘Petal Recognition’ under the Living Building Challenge.
Net Zero Energy Building Certification is linked to the Living Building Challenge, widely considered to be the world’s most stringent and progressive green building program. As with the Living Building Challenge, certification is based on actual performance rather than modeled outcomes. Buildings must be operational for at least 12 consecutive months prior to evaluation. To earn Net Zero Energy Building Certification, three of the Living Building Challenge’s 20 Imperatives must be met completely, and elements of two others are included.
“With recent research and news reports putting the net zero energy market at more than $1 trillion by 2035, third-party certification is critical. Until now, it’s been impossible to know if projects claiming to be net zero are performing as expected,” says Jason F. McLennan, the Institute’s CEO. “Our sincere hope is that those who pursue the net zero energy path seek to further transform the industry -- and the world – by pursuing Living Building Challenge certification as the next logical step in project evolution. The Painters Hall project exemplifies this effort.”
The developers of Pringle Creek Community converted an 80-year-old existing building into an ecologically and socially progressive community center within the 32-acre mixed-use redevelopment in Salem. A 20.2kw rooftop array of solar panels produces enough energy for the building’s needs. The project achieved the Energy, Equity, and Beauty Petals of the Living Building Challenge. The Net Zero Energy Building Certification requirements are encompassed within these petals.
The Ideas Z2 Facility transformed a U.S. Bank building constructed in the 1960s. It is designed to meet 100 percent of its net energy requirements using renewable energy from photovoltaics. The building has a net-metered rooftop photovoltaic system that provides enough electricity for the building’s needs.
Seek out the place where there is a great need. Often in this place we find an absence of design, yet here exists the greatest opportunity.
This provocation has been with me for a number of seasons, and has resurfaced in a whole new light this weekend after engaging with a community focused on Public Interest Design.
It was at the Structures for Inclusion 12 Conference in Austin, TX hosted by Bryan Bell and his team at Design Corps, where projects from around the globe best exemplifying the mission of the SEED Network (Social Economic Environmental Design) were being honored. The theme of the conference, “Design is Relational”, allowed the attendees to explore impact is on the relationships, the empowerment, and the activities created by Public Interest Design, in addition to the bricks and mortar aspect of design and construction.
The projects were diverse. They ranged from a hospital in Rwanda, to a youth farm in New Orleans, to a Native American Pueblo in New Mexico, to our very own Bancroft School in Kansas City. But the theme of each project was consistent: there was a need that someone saw as an opportunity to serve the needs of the public. READ MORE >>