Construction set to begin on signature green facility at VanDusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver, British Columbia


VanDusen botanical garden - new visitors centre

A Living Building

A $19.4-million VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitors Centre — described as a “signature green facility” that will resemble an orchid — soon will bloom on a prominent site off Oak Street.

The new visitors' centre will showcase the City of Vancouver's commitment to being a world leader in the design and construction of green buildings.

“The centre willl support the garden's ongoing work in biodiversity, plant conservation and enviornmental education,” states VanDusen Botanical Garden Director Harry Jongerden.

He explains that the building will use rainwater, stormwater and reused water, get its energy from on-site renewable sources and be built to “green” standards with environmentally safe materials.


The Guiding Philosophy

At the heart of the Living Building concept is the belief that society needs to move quickly to a state of balance between the natural and built environments – to define the highest measure of sustainability possible in the built environment based on current thinking.

A Living Building is water independent. The plan is for 100 percent of VanDusen’s occupants’ water use to come from captured precipitation or reused water that is appropriately purified without the use of chemicals. Water would be cleaned using juncos, iris and carex grown in the garden.

To learn more, click on Living Building Philosophy.


Posted December 2009