University of British Columbia evolves into a sustainability lab



Pushing Boundaries for a Greener World

“The University of British Columbia is in the process of converting its entire campus into an urban sustainability laboratory,” writes Randy Shore in a feature article published in the Vancouver Sun newspaper.

“At the heart of this initiative is a new building set to open this summer that will generate electricity, purify rainwater, regulate its energy requirements with plants, and reduce the university's carbon footprint in the process.”

The $37-million Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability (CIRS) building now under construction after 11 years of planning represents a new sustainability agenda.

Plans are underway to convert the entire campus into a single integrated energy system with a biogas plant and campus-wide hot water heat.


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When it opens in spring 2011, CIRS will be the most innovative and high performance building in North America, serving as a living laboratory to demonstrate leading-edge research and develop sustainable design practices, products, systems and policies.

CIRS will be home to the UBC Sustainability Initiative (USI), a new strategic management approach that integrates sustainability teaching and learning, research and operations at UBC.

UBC centre for interactive research on sustainability

Posted January 2011