CIRS Building at UBC.

World’s Biggest Green Building

The University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, claims that its new Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability (CIRS) is the world’s greenest building, specifically designed to deliver “net positive” benefits to the environment.  It is a four-story, 60,000 square-foot building that cost $37 million when completed in late 2010. When I was given a tour by one of the Centre’s staff in July 2012, I learned several valid reasons why this claim may be justified. By capturing waste heat from the earth, the sun, and the adjacent Earth and Oceans Sciences building, the CIRS building heats itself and returns 600 megawatt hours of surplus energy to the encompassing campus […]

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