Sustainable features of the Vancouver convention center expansion go beyond daylighting controls, some natural ventilation, the 2.4-hectare green roof with 400,000 plants and grasses and restoration of 200 ft of shoreline and 1,500 ft of marine habitat. There also is a “blackwater” wastewater treatment and reuse system, for plant irrigation and toilets, connected to a roof-top stormwater management and reuse system.

Photo: LMN Architects
Green roof can be irrigated using building’s treated water.

The building, going for a LEED Gold rating, also has a seawater heat pump and cooling system as well as radiant cooling in the exhibit-hall ceiling slab to reduce the size of the ductwork. Blair McCarry, principal in the local office of Stantec Consulting, the building systems engineer, calls the integration of the systems “complex.” If all works well, potable water use will be 60% or 70% less than in a conventional convention center.