A global model in sustainability, the Vancouver Convention Centre West in British Columbia celebrates its grand opening this week. Designed by Seattle-based LMN Architects in collaboration with Vancouver-based MCM and DA, the project represents a whole new direction in convention center design. It is on track to achieve LEED Canada Gold certification, and substantially raises the bar for “green” convention centers around the world.
Located on Vancouver’s waterfront with spectacular views of mountains, ocean and parks, the new 1.2 million-square-foot centre is the west companion to the existing facility. It triples the convention centre’s capacity, enabling it to host multiple, simultaneous events and large, 10,000-delegate events. On average the expansion is expected to bring an additional $200 million annually in delegate spending.
The convention centre is an extension of the Seaside Greenway from Stanley Park with 130,000 square feet of new waterfront promenade and 120,000 square feet or two football fields of new plazas for public enjoyment.
A prominent feature to be recognized around the world is the centre’s six-acre living roof, which is Canada’s largest and the biggest non-industrial living roof in North America. Landscaped with 400,000 native plants and grasses, the green roof acts like an insulator to reduce summer heat gains and winter heat losses.
On-site black water treatment and desalinization systems are projected to cut potable water use 60 to 70 percent over typical convention centers. With 40 percent of the facility over water, an innovative artificial reef is part of the building’s foundation, providing critical marine habitat.
Local materials are used throughout, including extensive Hemlock walls and Douglas fir slat ceilings. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer panoramic views and abundant natural daylighting. A seawater heating and cooling system, natural ventilation and energy-efficient fixtures are among the sustainable features.