Vancouver Landfill Gas

The City of Vancouver owns and operates the Vancouver Landfill in Delta. The Landfill received approximately 400,000 tonnes per year of municipal solid waste from approximately 950,000 people or roughly 40% of the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD). This unique project allows landfill gas (LFG) collected from the Landfill to be used to generate heat and electricity.
from: City of Vancouverdocument: Vancouver Landfill Gasin detail XlnkS619 XlnkC178F

740 Bel Air

The existing 740 Bel-Air Street complex was built between 1851 and 1950 on a 10,400m2 lot near downtown Montreal, and served as a storage facility for several government agencies for 15 years. As part of the PWGSC’s regional investment strategy, the objective of this project is to build a new multi-client Government of Canada building at this site. The combined future occupied space requirements of the tenants were estimated to be 15,696m2 of combined warehouse and office space. This new building will meet the future armoury housing and storage requirements of the Donnacona Naval Reserve of the Department of National Defence (DND), the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC) and the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA) and provide 19,470m2 of parking. The St. Henri district of Montreal has been undergoing revitalization for some time. The new armoury will provide an activity hub and visible federal government presence in the neighbourhood. This new investment is consonant with the government objective of promoting investments that help rehabilitate communities. The design focuses on providing maximum flexibility in the immediate and future use of space. A building grid with column spacing, fenestration and service runs suited to the most flexible interior space arrangements is used. The character, massing, scale and materials of this project are all designed to be simple, yet high quality and compatible with the surrounding context. The project will use the most sustainable building methods possible and special attention will be paid to the recovery of construction materials and energy conservation. Approximately 50% to 95% of waste in the project will be recycled, reduced or reused. Following the demolition phase, some parts of the existing buildings will be left intact and integrated into the new complex. Operating costs of the facility will be kept as low as possible by strict adherence to energy conservation principles.
from: Busby + Associatesdocument: 740 Bel Airin detail XlnkS5FD XlnkC1786

Nicola Valley Institute of Technology

One of Canada’s first post-secondary facilities shared by a native and non native institute, designed to reflect the cultural characteristics of the aboriginal students, and provide state of the art learning spaces required by University College of the Cariboo. The program includes classrooms, faculty offices, social spaces, labs, bookstore, cafeteria, and library. Internal siting of functional spaces has been with the intention of eliminating any sense of hierarchy. The design process involved intensive user group interaction, and numerous site visits with the native elders. The semi-circular shape is the first gesture toward the circular scheme of the master plan. This shape is meaningful and recurring native theme. A ceremonial arbour will be the focus of the space framed by the circle Both the arbour and the building are oriented on the cardinal points, with the building’s main entrance on the east axis, symbolizing the start of the day. The building is designed as a cold climate green building. This commitment to the new technology of environmental sustainability is in clear alignment with the historical aboriginal structures of the area. The building emerges from the sloping site, and evolves into a three storey building. The inner strip of the semicircular rooftop is planted, adding to the sense of the building growing out of the landscape and also supporting the intention of minimal disruption of the natural landscape of the undeveloped site. An area of study at the institute will be ethnobotany, the native use of indigenous plants. Traditional native structures in this area were mainly pithouses and the trees used were small diameter local species. This building is a combination of wood and concrete with a wood column structural system, visually representing pithouse poles rising up through the interior space. A glazed ventilation stack with operable windows is a central feature of the main part of the building, and a critical element in the green design. Tensioned fabric will used in the ventilation stack for shading. This reference to stretched skins is another element of aboriginal design which will also be utilized for the front entrance canopy. Exterior cladding will be horizontal wood strip siding. A challenging and successful scheme that adheres to the rigorous budget requirements of the Ministry’s value analysis process, this is the first phase of a much larger campus plan (43 acre site), and will be followed by campus housing.
from: Busby + Associatesdocument: Nicola Valley Institute of Technologyin detail XlnkS5FE XlnkC1786

Concord Adex – Residential Highrise

Busby + Associates Architects designed the Signature Tower as part of the Concord Adex development in downtown Toronto known as City Place. This Signature Tower is a simple, effective and distinctive statement, providing the entire development with a centre and a design identity. The project is proposed to be a Green Building that will be the first residential tower in Canada to be LEEDTM Certifiable. Attaining this Green status would create prestige for both the City of Toronto and Concord Adex as responsible developers in a progressive civic environment. In the order of 62 storeys in height, the tower grazes the skyline with a sleek outline. Its surface is transparent, refined and homogeneous. The clean and uninterrupted line of the exterior will be perforated by the warm incandescent lights of individual residences. As if echoing Toronto’s transformation from daytime business to evening leisure, the towers will become softer, less singular as objects, and more telling of lives lived within. This transformation from day to night, cool to warm, is designed to provide interest within the larger visual scheme playing out against the urban backdrop. The Signature Tower site also marks the junction of the new neighbourhood’s two principal roadways; Spadina Avenue to the West and Bremner Boulevard to the South. Easily within walking distance of Torontos downtown Queen Street, CN Tower and Harbourfront, the development of this site will become an important connection between the city of Toronto and it’s waterfront.
from: Busby + Associatesdocument: Concord Adex – Residential Highrisein detail XlnkS5FF XlnkC1786

Concord N & O Residential Development

The N and O Towers are a residential development of one tower with townhouses at 610 Beach Crescent (Tower N) and one tower with townhouses at 1530 Granville Street (Tower O), both in the Beach Neighbourhood Area. These prime residential developments with a high quality of urban design and architecture are intended to be energy efficient buildings in line with the “Green Building Strategies”. This project was selected by CMHC as a case study to investigate the “Strategies for Alternative Energy Use and Redistribution at the Building Envelope”. The findings of this study are expressed in the orientation and massing of the building as well as in the elevation treatment. Both towers are oriented towards the views. The location of the towers next to Granville Bridge forces the suite orientation towards the park and the water. The units above the bridge have nice views towards English Bay. Although the east and the south tower elevations are angled to maximize views, the north and west elevation as well as the core and the interior walls (with a few exceptions) are oriented towards the established downtown city grid. Although a maximum 7-storey base along the Beach Crescent & George Wainborn Park was allowed in the guidelines, a strong 3-storey base framing the park would is more in relation to the human scale. Both proposed towers fan out from the 7th storey down and tie in with the 3- storey base framing the park. The townhouses also step down from Beach to the Waterfront Walkway, following the 6m slope. Rather than a 7-storey high wall along the park, the proposed massing creates a more open character towards the water. A lookout from the semi-private courtyard towards George Wainborn Park is located between the two towers and is set within the townhouse framework.The tower portion of both buildings above the 7th floor has 6 units per floor up to level 11 with 5 units per floor for the upper floors.
from: Busby + Associatesdocument: Concord N & O Residential Developmentin detail XlnkS600 XlnkC1786

City of Vancouver: Country Lanes

2003 APWA Technical Innovation Award Winner Honourable Mention for 2003 CAMA Environmental Award The City of Vancouver has developed an environmentally sustainable ‘Country Lane’ design that makes back lanes greener and more attractive. Three ‘Country Lanes’ were constructed by August 2003 as part of a demonstration project. This alternative to full width asphalt lane paving is in response to the City’s goal to reduce environmental impacts and to create a more liveable community. Country Lanes feature two narrow driving strips surrounded by a structural component that is topsoiled and planted with grass. This structural grass is a rigid plastic grid that can support vehicles and prevent grass roots from being compacted and rutting the soil. Two of the three lanes used driving strips built out of concrete, while one lane used permeable driving strips built out of the structural grass grid in-filled with small gravel. The road base is a mixture of aggregate, which provides structural stability, and a sand/soil mixture that allows for drainage and provides the soil components required for grass growth. This structural soil was developed by City of Vancouver staff. The Country Lane design will allow rainwater to percolate over vegetation and through the ground. The natural absorption allowed by this permeable lane surface reduces discharge into the storm sewer system, recharges groundwater, and reduces peak flows into rivers. The increased vegetation will filter stormwater and improve air quality. Aside from the environmental aspects, this innovative sustainable design also has many other advantages including traffic calming, as well as being aesthetically pleasing.
from: City of Vancouverdocument: City of Vancouver: Country Lanesin detail XlnkS601 XlnkC178F

City of Vancouver National Works Yard

The new City of Vancouver National Works Yard is a 12-acre Engineering Operations Facility with a technically complex program including an Administration Centre, Garage and Radio Shop, Parking Operations Building, Warehouses, Car Wash and Fuelling Station. The project is the City of Vancouver’s pilot initiative to promote sustainable design practices. The City’s leadership and level of commitment to these sustainable principles is reflected in the design expertise employed and the application of sound environmental building practices, which culminated in the facility’s Administration and Parking Operations buildings achieving LEEDâ„¢ Gold – the first buildings in Canada to receive this level of certification from the Canada Green Building Council. The project is also a test case for various sustainable technologies and a showcase for the City’s many “green” initiatives. The Works Yard incorporates the operations of eight engineering branches, along with associated support for the facility. Approximately 400 employees will be based out of the new yard, and it will have the capacity to accommodate growth of operations over the next 10 to 20 years. Omicron provided architecture, engineering, project and construction management services to the City for this new $22 million facility which is located on National Avenue in the False Creek flats industrial zone.
from: Omicrondocument: City of Vancouver National Avenue Works Yard 04in detail XlnkS5F7 XlnkC18C8


Gleneagles Community Centre, located in West Vancouver, British Columbia – Canada, is a prime example of Earth Tech’s sustainable design capabilities. Earth Tech’s close cooperation with the Architect and the rest of the design team resulted in an unparalleled synergy between the building and the mechanical system. The innovative design for this 23,000 sq. ft. recreational facility integrates all building components to foster energy-efficiency and environmental sustainability, while creating a comfortable environment for users of the facility. This is the first system of its kind in North America.
from: Earth Techdocument: Gleneaglesin detail XlnkS5F8 XlnkC1792

Best Practices

The seriousness and immediacy of the environmental issues we now face are such that Sustainable Design can no longer remain the preserve of a small number of specialists and enthusiasts. Building owners and users will increasingly demand higher standards of environmental performance of the construction industry. Architects will need to respond by developing a clear understanding of the nature of environmental pressures, and of appropriate design and construction strategies to reduce impacts. Appropriate material choices to minimize environmental impacts will be a key component of sustainable design. The Best Practices Guide is intended to provide architects with practical information to assist in selection of appropriate green building materials. Background material is provided on environmental issues specific to each material type, and specific selection criteria are provided and prioritized. In all cases material choices are placed within a larger context that discusses performance issues to avoid the use of materials that achieve green design goals at the expense of acceptable performance in other areas.
from: GVRDdocument: Best Practicesin detail XlnkS5F9 XlnkC179D

York University Computer Science Building

York University directed the design team to achieve a warm, open, welcoming facility that would be simple and fexible enough to accommodate unpredictable future technology. An additional objective evolved out of the design process: this would be the first new institutional project in Ontario that would be “green, with a design based on a commitment to achieving environmental sustainability objectives. This project offered us the opportunity to implement a green design approach in a “cold weather” climate.
from: Busby + Associatesdocument: Busby York Universityin detail XlnkS5FA XlnkC1786