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Canada Green Building Council

ISSUE 1, SPRING 2016, British Columbia Chapter - CaGBC Regional Publication /


WELLNESS and the built environment

HAPPY CITY: Exploring the design-happiness connection

RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE: Place of healing draws on nature LIVING WALLS: How they help satisfy our biophilic cravings




Allstream Centre, Toronto, Ontario


Join us at Canada’s premier green building event » Industry education

» Green building tours

» B2B meetings

» Networking events

» Interactive Expo Floor

Allstream Centre, Toronto, ON, June 6-8 Register now at: 2


Message from the British Columbia Chapter of the CaGBC We are pleased to share with you this first BC Focus supplement produced in partnership with In this first edition, we explore the ways that the built environment directly impacts and influences an individual’s physical health and well-being. How communities are planned and built, and the services and resources provided within them, directly impact people’s physical, mental, and social health. At the building scale many factors, including temperature, humidity, light, noise, chemical pollutants, job requirements, and psychosocial factors, interact to influence the comfort and health of building occupants. There are many ways to marry the concepts of wellbeing and sustainability to create a built environment which not only benefits communities and the environment, but also the individuals who work, live and play there. This spring supplement seeks to explore some of these ways. Articles on the WELL building standard and Biophilic design introduce approaches that encourage health and well-being to be a forethought in the design process. We also take a look at the arrival of LEED v4, which is focusing more industry attention on building material ingredients, and how those materials affect human health. Case studies of sustainable hospital and care environments provide the opportunity to reflect on how the built environment influences patient comfort, care and recovery. The issue of what makes a happy community/city is also discussed, in an article on the connection between urban design and wellbeing. We hope you find this first edition of the BC Focus supplement educational and informative. As a Chapter, we are striving to push the envelope in our community through advocacy, education and by highlighting the best of green building practices. Please check out our website to find out about our many upcoming events and educational workshops. Finally, thank you to our supportive community of members, partners, sponsors and advertisers who have helped to make this publication happen.

Sincerely, Helen Phillips MPlan, PhD Chapter Engagement Specialist British Columbia Chapter Canada Green Building Council



UBC’s Earth Sciences Building practices what it teaches The Earth Sciences Building at the University of British Columbia houses the departments of earth, ocean and atmospheric sciences, mathematics and statistics, as well as the office of the dean of science. The intent is to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration and creativity among the faculties and help advance solutions to such pressing global issues as climate change and environmental degradation. With that focus, the new building itself had to both actively encourage teamwork – which it does through a variety of formal and informal meeting spaces, including extra-wide landings on the staircase – and also model sustainability and energy efficiency. “We wanted this building to be a model of energy efficiency – not easy, when you consider it has 54 fume hoods that just eat up power,” says Craig Knight, Development Manager and Financial Analyst for UBC Properties Trust. Fume hoods are vital safety equipment intended to limit exposure to hazardous chemicals or toxic fumes, but one fume hood alone can use more energy than three typical B.C. homes. “Scientific research is very energy-intensive by nature,” says Knight. “In addition to the fume hoods, there’s the heating, ventilation and air conditioning, as well as the lighting that needs to be on many hours a day.” To try to mitigate that energy-intensiveness, UBC made a decision early in the design process to participate in the BC Hydro New Construction Program, which provides funding for an energy-modeling study and financial incentives for installing the energy-conservation measures identified there. “With BC Hydro’s incentives, installing these measures made it essentially cost neutral for us to go as energy efficient as possible with this building. Our buildings will be more energy efficient for life if we design them right from the beginning,” Knight says. “It’s a win-win.”

Looking for new ways to build better? Visit or call 1 866 522 4713 to learn more.





See a digital version of CaGBC British Columbia Chapter FOCUS at

In this issue SPRING 2016


Upcoming Events & Membership Updates


Ronald McDonald House BC & Yukon: Place of healing draws on nature


LEED v4: Helps drive health and wellness


Sechelt Hospital Expansion: Community engagement brings design success


Surrey Memorial Hospital Critical Care Tower

20 22

Happy City


Canada and the WELL Building Standard

How Living Walls Help Satisfy Our Biophilic Cravings


British Columbia Construction Association making the link between sustainability and innovation


Q & A with Deanna Fourt


Product profile: SunPump delivers on-demand solar heating

Environmental savings for this issue: BC FOCUS is printed on Rolland Environ100 Satin, a 100% post-consumer fiber that is

12 trees

45,044 L water

682 kg waste

1,774 kg CO2

certified FSC and EcoLogo. It is processed chlorine-free, FSC-recycled and is manufactured using biogas energy.


A joint publishing project of the British Columbia Chapter - CaGBC and SABMag. Address all inquiries to Don Griffith: Published by Janam Publications Inc. | |

Cover photo: Sechelt Hospital Expansion. Photo: Latreille & Delage SPRING 2016 | BC FOCUS




in British Columbia

The Canada Green Building Council, B.C. Chapter seeks to connect all of British Columbia’s green building leaders and supporters by providing the latest information you need to accelerate your green building credentials and to stay at the forefront of the industry. Here is a highlight of our upcoming events and workshops:





May 3

LEED® Green Associate Exam Kickstarter

Prepare to take your LEED Green Associate exam and earn the internationally recognized LEED v4 Green Associate credential. CaGBC has developed this condensed 1-day course which is delivered by highly-qualified Canadian instructors with real-life local and regional experience. This course is intended to provide you with foundational information, which will then be followed up with a post-course study plan. CaGBC provides you with a number of comprehensive study materials to help you prepare for the exam.

Kelowna [Vancouver, May 31]

May 4

Introduction to the LEED® v4 Rating Systems and Building Tour

Participants will gain a foundational grasp of the major changes in LEED v4 and explore its impact on Canadians. They will learn how projects can ultimately benefit from the Canadian Alternative Compliance Paths that are currently under development. Learners will gain a broad understanding of LEED v4 and an in-depth perspective of the system goals. This is also a great opportunity to get an exclusive tour of CaGBC’s new Vancouver office which is targeting LEED v4 for Commercial Interiors Gold [with a stretch target of Platinum].


June [Dates TBC]

Summer Networking Event

The Chapter will kick-off the summer with an opportunity for networking Vancouver at this Chapter event in June. Attendees from all areas of the green building community will gather to eat, drink and network. Guests will have the opportunity to listen to rapid-fire presentations on leading-edge green building projects in B.C. Additionally, a tour of the event venue will be given (TBC) to all guests.

2016 Lunch and Learn Series

Led by the B.C. Chapter, this five part series fosters a community of learning Victoria and and elevated performance around LEED and the WELL building standard. The Vancouver series is being held throughout 2016 in Vancouver and Victoria. Topics covered so far have included the ‘Material Requirements in LEED v4’ and ‘Resilience & Green Building.’



For further details on all of these events and workshops, please see, [upcoming education and events].


New Integrated Nationwide Structure

B.C. Chapter

The CaGBC and its Chapters have launched an integrated nationwide structure

The B.C. Chapter provides support and advocacy for LEED®

with the goal of having a greater impact and increasing member engagement.

and other CaGBC green building programs throughout the

This change supports the continued growth of the green building market,

province. Our network of green building professionals is a

strengthens the impact of the green building movement and better engages

premier source for education, training and leading-edge

and services our stakeholders, members, and the industry at large. Most impor-

green building information. The B.C. Chapter provides indi-

tantly, it maximizes our impact across Canada as we can take a more organized

viduals with the opportunity to meet green building experts

approach to climate change and other environmental issues. A significant

in their area, develop local green building initiatives, tour

benefit is that all employees of a National member company (either a Green

green building projects and access local educational and

Building Specialist or Green Building Advocate) are now entitled to a free B.C.

leadership opportunities.

Chapter membership (or other Chapter of their choice). This new membership structure became effective on January 1, 2016.

Join Us Our members are key innovators and thought leaders of

More Benefits

tomorrow’s sustainable world. If you are not already a

This simplified approach to membership makes it easier for people to connect

member, join the CaGBC and our public and private sector

and engage with their local green building communities and others across

member organizations across the country to help transform

Canada. When an employee takes advantage of their complimentary Chapter

Canada with greener buildings and healthier communities. If

membership they gain access to all of the benefits associated with their

you are not an employee of a national member company you

employer’s current membership plus the individual benefits available to them

can join the B.C. Chapter as an individual for $100 per year.

through their local Chapter. These networks and opportunities enable employ-

Emerging Green Builders can join for just $35.

ees to be directly involved in the advancement of green building communities across Canada, from the grass roots.

Find out more about our new integrated membership structure and the many benefits available at




RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE BC & YUKON Place of healing draws on nature


Ronald McDonald House of BC provides a “home away from home” for out of town families with children receiving medical treatment at BC Women’s and Children’s Hospital. The new House has allowed the organization to grow into a new facility while successfully preserving the nurturing, closely-bonded, healing environment that was found in its original 12-family residence.

Completed in 2014, the House now serves 73 families and is a place that feels like a home and not a hotel – a goal that was fundamental to the design of the project. Located at the southeast corner of the BC Children’s Hospital site, the new House is actually comprised of four smaller, residential-scale “houses” that are organized around a pair of courtyards and linked together with common living and dining areas. The design of the House helps families to find both solace and community as they go through one of the most significant and challenging moments of life with their severely sick child. Places to retreat and find quiet family time are complemented by larger gathering areas that help to foster a sense of community and shared support. This scaling of space is intended to manage each family’s adjustment from their home elsewhere in BC and the Yukon to living with many families experiencing a huge range of emotions as their kids are going through treatment.




3 PROJECT CREDITS CLIENT Ronald McDonald House British Columbia & Yukon ARCHITECTS MGA | MICHAEL GREEN ARCHITECTURE [project started at Mcfarlane | green | biggar architecture + design] STRUCTURAL Equilibrium Consulting Inc. MECHANICAL AME Consulting Group Ltd. ELECTRICAL Applied Engineering Solutions Ltd. LANDSCAPE PWL Partnership Landscape Architects Inc. INTERIORS MGA | Michael Green Architecture CONTRACTOR ITC Construction Group PHOTOS Image by MGA [3], Ema Peter [1, 2, 4, 5]

From small family rooms to communal gathering areas, there are a variety of calm, relaxing spaces for families to find community and interact comfortably. Each of the four smaller “houses” serves 18 families over three or four floors, where private suites and family rooms can be found on each level and a communal kitchen is shared on the ground floor. The communal dining rooms are shared between each set of two houses while a centrally located community living room serves as a gathering space for all families. At the ground level, an internal “house loop” corridor connects all of the communal amenities, including a fitness centre, teen room, games room, Lego room, arts & crafts and laundry facilities.



1 and 3 - The new House has four smaller, residential-scale “houses” that are organized around a pair of courtyards and linked together with common living and dining areas. 2 - A strong connection to the exterior courtyards and landscaped spaces extends the ground floor communal areas. 4 and 5 - One of the common dining areas where exposed wood fosters a warm, comforting environment. 6 - The project is scaled to help manage each family’s adjustment from their home.


RMHBC serves parents, siblings, and patients from infancy through late teen years. The design of the House respects this diversity and provides spaces for all age groups. There are spaces for quiet family time, noisy places to play in, and warm, active communal rooms which allow residents to support one another. Exterior courtyards, playgrounds and landscaped paths allow for both active play and quiet contemplation. The design draws on the healing and stress-reducing qualities of exposed wood to foster a warm, comforting environment. The exposed cross-laminated timber [CLT] structure is complemented by wood furniture and millwork designed by the architect, including dining tables and the main reception desk. Exterior courtyards and landscaped spaces feel like natural extensions of the ground floor communal areas. Bold, colourful graphics of flora and fauna are woven throughout the house, offering a strong connection to the natural environment of BC as a peaceful and uplifting reminder of the places


that these families will have travelled to from around the province. Each “house” is themed with its own unique graphic and colour identity – elements of River, Beach, Forest, and Mountain – drawing on the geography of the province as a natural place of healing. The new facility has achieved LEED Gold certification and uses current building systems to provide for a safe environment for all children, including those with compromised immune systems. The success of the project is found in the social nurturing and connectivity created by the architecture, however, significant innovations in mass timber construction were also introduced through the development of a hybrid CLT wall and TJI floor structure. The project combined a tilt up CLT/light wood frame structure with masonry to create a building that will not only last 100 years, but was also prefabricated and quickly assembled onsite. While the wood innovations in the project are important milestones for institutional construction, they naturally remain a subtext to the profoundly important nature of the great service

6 10


RMHBC provides the province.

YOUR QUICK REFERENCE RESOURCE uVisit our on-line Directory to see hundreds of listings of companies which supply products and services for sustainable, high-performance building.


uCompanies are listed by Product Category and by LEED Category in cases where they have products which can potentially help a project earn LEED points. uAmong the listings are our partners – listed below – who are briefly described in the Directory and linked to their web sites for more detailed information.

OUR 2016 PARTNERS SITE | LANDSCAPING | RAINWATER HARVESTING >Busch Systems >greenscreen® >N.A.T.S. Nursery Ltd. >Unilock >Wishbone Industries Ltd.

STRUCTURE & EXTERIOR ENVELOPE >Alumicor Building Excellence >Bailey Metal Products Ltd. >Dryvit Systems Canada >Engineered Assemblies >LiveRoof Ontario Inc. >Stonerox >Thames Valley Brick & Tile >Tremco

THERMAL & WINDOWS >Demilec: Heatlok Soya, PolarFoam Soya >Eco Insulating Glass Inc. >Pollard Windows Inc. >UNILUX Windows and Doors

INTERIOR FINISHES >Baillargeon Doors Inc. >CBR Products >CertainTeed AirRenew® M2Tech® >Columbia Forest Products >Dinoflex >Forbo Flooring Systems >Interface >Lynden Door >Nora Systems, Inc. >Olympia Tile International Inc. >Tectum >Shaw Contract Group

ELECTRICAL | PLUMBING | HVAC | RENEWABLES >Acuity Brands >Duravit >Mitsubishi Electric Sales Canada Inc. >Sloan Valve >Taco Comfort Solutions

>Tate Access Floors >Termobuild >Uponor >Viessmann Manufacturing Company Inc. >Zehnder America Inc.

GREEN DESIGN SUPPORT + PROFESSIONALS >ATA Arctic to Antarctic Portable or Permanent Homes >Architek SBP Inc. >Belnor Engineering Inc. >Canadian Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute >Cement Association of Canada >Eco Building Resource >FABRIQ architecture >Homesol Building Solutions Inc. >Legacy Building Solutions >MetroCan Construction Ltd. >Pinwheel Building Supplies >SCS Global Services >Sweeny&Company Architects Inc.

Go to: SPRING 2016 | BC FOCUS


Submitted by Mark Hutchinson, Vice President, Green Building Programs, CaGBC

LEED v4 helps drive health and wellness As our interest in protecting the natural environment has grown over the last half century or more, we have simultaneously become increasingly concerned with our own health and wellness. Our growing interest in both has been driven by a virtuous cycle of increased scien-

Mark Hutchinson

tific knowledge leading to greater awareness and a desire for change, in turn spurring more research. While the public has perhaps perceived the ‘green building’ movement to be focused on the protection of the natural environment, practitioners also recognize the importance of addressing human health and wellness. It was only natural then that health considerations were in-

1 - Carpet used in the CaGBC’s new Vancouver office which is targeting LEED v4 for Commercial Interiors Gold [with a stretch target of Platinum] has a take-back program, high recycled content, EPD and is C2C certified. 2 - Office planters are made of recycled metal with custom fabrication for the view glass and light shelves. 3 - Scoop stools in the kitchen are low VOC [BIFMA] and C2C certified.

corporated into LEED from its inception. The latest version of LEED elevates the discourse on health and wellness to a new level.

Research grows

Stepping forward with LEED v4

The importance of a healthy environment is being better understood

LEED v4 raises the health and wellness requirements of prior versions.

as research grows. Given that the largest expense for just about any

For example, outdoor air delivery monitoring is now a prerequisite. To

organization is staffing, there is a strong economic incentive to invest

better ensure that VOC levels are kept low, products are assessed not

in the health and well being of employees.

only for total VOCs but for VOC emissions – the amount likely to be

In one of the most interesting recent developments in quantitatively

released into the interior environment. At the same time, VOCs are

assessing the impact of green building practices, a double-blind study

now assessed across all product categories collectively so as to better

recently evaluated the cognitive performance of 24 participants who

gauge the total possible exposure.

experienced conditions in a laboratory setting that simulated those

Being able to see to the outdoors is important, however to realize the

found in both conventional and green buildings.

true benefit, the quality of the view needs to be taken into account:

The study found that when concentrations of VOCs were dropped from

factors such as the proximity of any obstructions, and the nature of

500 to 50ppb and outdoor air was increased from 20 to 40cfm per

what you are viewing. These factors must be taken into account in

person, performance on cognitive tests rose by over 100 per cent. Additionally, participants felt healthier and also reported sleeping better.1

LEED v4. Important changes have also been incorporated into the

LEED addresses health and wellness

daylighting requirements. What’s more, LEED v4 introduces entirely new health and wellness measures. For example, there is a new credit for acoustics - an im-

LEED addresses a broad range of design and operation elements that

portant part of how we experience the built environment. However,

relate to health and wellness. The air we breathe is first and foremost,

the most significant changes are new requirements for disclosing the

with requirements for fresh air and air intake monitoring; air filtration;

chemical compounds within building materials, and for choosing to

CO2 monitoring; elimination of tobacco smoke and more. Even before

use products with a less hazardous composition.

a building is occupied, protection from particulates during construction, requirements for low-VOC products, and flush-out prior to occupancy all help ensure a healthy environment. Likely the most frequent complaint building managers face is about the temperature; LEED encourages greater comfort and more individual control. Wellness is further addressed through requirements for daylight and views to the outside world.



1 Allen JG, MacNaughton P, Satish U, Santanam S, Vallarino J, Spengler JD. Associations of Cognitive Function Scores with Carbon Dioxide, Ventilation, and Volatile Organic Compound Exposures in Office Workers: A Controlled Exposure Study of Green and Conventional Office Environments. Environ Health Perspect;


The requirements reference tools such as Health Product Declarations, GreenScreen, and the Cradle to Cradle program. Through these, designers can make more informed choices and better ensure the health of building occupants. What’s perhaps even more exciting is that manufacturers are responding by evolving their formulations where doing so can reduce possible health hazards and risks. The new LEED requirements are helping to drive a fundamental shift in the products we use to build, and we can all look forward to a future where we better understand our building products and are able to provide healthier indoor spaces that promote wellness, all while continuing to reduce our impacts on the natural environment.







Community engagement brings design success The renovations and addition to the existing hospital in Sechelt comprised an expanded emergency, diagnostic imaging, ambulatory care and special care services. Additional inpatient accommodation, 2

including two new floors of rooms, has improved the capacity and 1

quality of care significantly. Early consultation with staff and the com-


munity has resulted in a more supportive environment for hospital staff, patients and visitors, reflecting the place, culture and people it would serve. The design responds to First Nation emphasis on connecting to nature for optimum health and well being. Local wood, stone and landscape elements echo the local ecology and materials. Health considerations were of utmost importance; finishes were kept to a minimum and emission rates for all materials were carefully scrutinized to ensure a high quality, healthy indoor environment.



Site plan 1 Mechanical

2 Heating/cooling

3 Geothermal field

A narrow floor plate and careful programming around the perimeter result in ample natural daylight and views for all patient rooms and inpatient areas. On-site respite gardens invite patients, visitors and staff to connect with nature. The Sechelt Hospital is one of the few hospitals to have operable windows in all clinical and inpatient areas. A climate-specific landscape plan eliminates potable water for irrigation. Meadow grass and native bulb and seed mix cover much of the grounds instead of manicured lawns. The meadows are allowed to grow long and require little water. Part of the roof area is vegetated with sedum tiles, integrated with fleece mats to eliminate the need for irrigation. Infiltration gardens planted with strong native species are used to move stormwater through the site.



5 4


3 7


Ground floor 1 Existing building 2 Entrance 3 Imaging and Radiography

4 Ambulance vestibule 5 Trauma 6 Exam room

7 Staff corridor


3 2


Second floor 1 Existing building 2 Inpatient rooms

3 Stepdown room 4 ICU room



PROJECT CREDITS OWNER/DEVELOPER Vancouver Coastal Health ARCHITECT Farrow Partnership in association with Perkins+Will Canada STRUCTURAL ENGINEER Fast + Epp Structural Engineers ELECTRICAL ENGINEER Acumen Engineering MECHANICAL ENGINEER Integral Group LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT Sharp & Diamond Landscape Architecture Inc. CIVIL ENGINEER Stantec GENERAL CONTRACTOR Graham Construction and Engineering COMMISSIONING AGENT CES Group PHOTOS Latreille & Delage

5 6


Room views View


The design prioritizes passive and low carbon strategies for energy, with an emphasis on daylighting, a high-performance envelope with high-efficiency glass and framing fenestration, solar shading and operable windows for natural ventilation. Active strategies include a photovoltaic array which generates 1% of energy annually, a high-mass hydronic radiant floor slab works with a VAV reheat system for both heating and cooling, and a geo-exchange system provides a source of low-carbon heating energy. Heat is recovered from exhaust air with high-efficiency water-to-water heat pumps. The design team took care to ensure space planning and programming would be optimal, now and well into the future. The team rented a nearby helicopter hanger and constructed a full size mock-up of different departments in the new addition, and worked with hospital staff to test a variety of scenarios to help determine the appropriate sizes, locations and adjacencies of rooms. The result has been the creation of exceptional and efficient spaces that are designed to support healing, reduce infection and accommodate the evolving needs of the hospital.



Subscribe to SABMAG digital Access the digital version of SABMag on your desktop, phone or tablet. Subscribe now at: subscribe-shop.html

Lynden Door introduces the VanAir door, a stylish and modern take on ventilation without compromising sound privacy. Create airflow pathways without the complexity of modifying doors, ceilings and walls. Balance and alleviate pressure and temperature buildup. LEED NC, CL C&S MR c-3, 4 , 6, 7/EA c-1/EQ c-2, 3.1, 4.1, 4.4 LEED HOMES MR c-2/EQ c-6

Trusted partners for Canada’s Public-Private Partnership infrastructure projects.

Integrated Team Solutions:

Surrey Memorial Hospital in British Columbia is a LEEDÂŽ Gold certified building.

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20/04/2016 3:33:42 PM

Surrey Memorial Hospital Critical Care Tower State-of-the-art care includes sustainability


The 420,000 sq. ft. Surrey Memorial Hospital Critical Care Tower is the largest healthcare project in the history of British Columbia, and delivered as a public-private partnership for the Ministry of Health of British Columbia and Fraser Health Authority. 18


The eight-storey tower adds 151 acute care beds, and the largest emergency department in Canada, with a specialized mental health and pediatric area. Other elements include an Adult Intensive Care Unit, Neonatal Centre of Excellence, more space for the clinical academic campus of the UBC School of Medicine, and a laboratory with the latest medical technology, specially designed for the region.

Patient and family care are at the core of the design, along with staff safety. All patient rooms have access to natural light and dedicated family space. Infection control, universal design and disaster preparedness are also key priorities for the project, which also provides expanded access to world-class healthcare for communities across the province. With a commitment to maximizing energy and water efficiencies, Integrated Team Solutions [ITS], the integrated design team led by EllisDon Corporation and Fengate Capital Management, and including CEI Architecture and Parkin Architects, working in joint venture, designed and built the Critical Care Tower to achieve


LEED Gold certification. The new facility incorporates significant sustainable design fea-


tures to deliver energy efficiency while providing a healthy and comfortable environment for patients, staff and visitors. With priority placed on indoor air quality, natural lighting, and use of wood and natural materials, the Critical Care Tower has reduced its ecological impact, leaving a smaller footprint on the environment. The architects required use of low-VOC coatings, adhesives, sealants, and paints as well as low-emitting carpets and wood. Subcontractors were required to sign an Indoor Air Quality plan which provided guidelines on construction activities and isolation zones once the floors were completed. A building flushout was performed after construction. The project has realized an approximately 50% reduction in energy usage based on the LEED Energy Model, achieved using heat recovery chillers, energy-efficient fixtures and HVAC equipment. Other sustainability features include a storm water management system, water-efficient landscaping and provisions for alternative transportation, including electric vehicle charging stations, bicycle storage and change rooms.

CLIENT Ministry of Health of British Columbia and Fraser Health Authority ARCHITECTS CEI Architecture and Parkin Architects in joint venture CONSTRUCTION Integrated Team Solutions ENGINEERS MMM Group Ltd. PHOTOS CEI Architecture

1 - The Critical Care Tower has achieved LEED Gold certification. 2 - Priority was placed on indoor air quality, natural lighting, and use of wood and natural materials. 3 - The project has achieved an approximately 50% reduction in energy usage based on the LEED Energy Model.







Exploring the designhappiness connection

LEARNING FROM THE EVIDENCE Ever since Dr. John Snow traced the 1849 London cholera epidemic to a public water pump on Broad Street, the field of public health has worked to prevent disease, prolong life and promote health by combining evidence with action in design and policy. But in recent decades, public health researchers have gone beyond the focus on disease and safety to explore the strong systematic relationship between urban design and physical wellbeing. They have found that urban design has a direct influence on the amount of physical activity people get every day. Meanwhile, city systems mediate the amount of time people spend with family and friends. These factors have a direct impact on heart health, stress indicators and life expectancy. From neuroscience, we have learned that there are physical markers to subjective wellbeing. People who say they are happy have more activity in the pleasure centres of the brain, and

Urban spaces and systems influence how inhabitants feel, behave, and

lower levels of stress hormones in their blood. Neuroscientists

interact with each other in ways that city builders and policymakers fail

have found that urban shapes, scents and sounds can have an

to realize. Efforts to build health and happiness into cities demand an

immediate effect on human emotions. Sharp angles, long, blank

evidence-based approach. Fortunately, researchers and urban change

walls and traffic noise can trigger a stress response, which in turn

makers have produced powerful evidence on the connection between

influences how places attract or repel people.

urban design and wellbeing. Urban designers, policymakers and architects can draw lessons from public health, neuroscience, behavioural economics

The field of behavioral psychology builds on lessons from

and environmental psychology. Armed with strong evidence, city builders

neuroscience. Drawing from hundreds of studies as well as

have the opportunity to design, build and manage urban environments in

survey data on subjective wellbeing from around the world,

ways that improve the health, productivity, life years, economic activity,

researchers note strong correlations between self-reported

and happiness of urban dwellers. The good news for city builders is that

happiness and various conditions. From this work it is clear

the evidence shows that the happy city, the green city and the low-carbon

that absolutely nothing contributes more to human wellbeing

city are the same place.

than positive social relations.



2 What is remarkable is that our relationship with strangers can be as important as our connections with family and friends. Research from the University of British Columbia has shown that casual contact in public has as strong an effect on day-to-day happiness as time with family and close friends. It is crucial to build public spaces that draw people into trust-building encounters rather than conflict.

References: Andrew Oswald, Eugenio Proto & Daniel Sgroi. (2014). Happiness and Productivity. JOLE 3r Version. Angela Loder. (2011). Greening the City: Exploring Health, Well-Being, Green Roofs, and the Perception of Nature in the Workplace. University of Toronto. Charles Montomgery. (2013). Happy City. Penguin. Ed Diener & Micaela Chan. (2011). Happy People Live Longer: Subjective Well-Being Contributes to European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. (2005). First European Quality of Life Survey: Life Satisfaction, Happiness and Sense of Belonging Health and Longevity. Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, 3(1), 1-43. Gillian Sandstrom & Elizabeth Dunn. (2014). Social Interactions and Well-Being: The Surprising Power of Weak Ties. Pers Soc Psychol Bull, 1-13. Jared Ulmer, James Chapman, Suzanne Kershaw, Monica Campbell, Lawrence Frank. (2015). Application of an Evidence-based Tool to Evaluate Health Impacts of Changes to the Built Environment. Can J Public Health, 106(1), 526-532 John F. Helliwell & Shun Wang. (2011). Trust and Well-Being. International Journal of Wellbeing, 1(1), 42-78. John F. Helliwell, Richard Layard & Jeff Sachs. (2013). World Happiness Report 2013. New York: UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. Knight Foundation. (2010). Gallup Soul of the Community Report. Lisa Wood, Lawrence Frank & Billie Giles-Corti. (2010). Sense of Community and its Relationship with Walking and Neighbourhood Design. Social Science & Medicine, 70, 1381-1390. Sheldon Cohen, William Doyle, & Andrew Baum. (2006). Socioeconomic Status is Associated with Stress Hormones. Psychosomatic Medicine, 63, 414-420. Stephen Kellert. (2008). Biophilic Design: The Theory, Science, and Practice of Bringing Buildings to Life. Wiley.

From environmental psychology we learn about the broad behavioural effects of urban design. We know, that people who are exposed to nature in cities are more productive, but they also tend to be more generous, neighbourly and helpful. We know car drivers pay more attention to road design than posted speeds when deciding how fast to drive. And we know that walking is a potent contributor to day-to-day happiness. This means the quality of

1 - Healthy places enable, encourage and reward healthy choices and active mobility. 2 - Places of delight maximize the pleasure and minimize the pain of urban experience. 3 - Places that matter enable residents to build a greater sense of meaning and belonging. 4 - Sociable places promote positive relationships and facilitate trust-building encounters.

walking environments really matters.

THE COMPONENTS OF A HAPPY CITY It can be easy to overlook the urban design/wellbeing connection. However, policymakers around the world are recognizing the need to embrace wellbeing as a legitimate and necessary goal. Jurisdictions from Bhutan to France to the United Nations have adopted happiness indices to help guide urban development and economic policy. Working with industry leaders such as the World Health Organization, we have found that by identifying elements of physical and psychological wellbeing and considering how buildings, public spaces and urban systems affect these elements, we can develop principles and practices that help cities meet public health objectives as well as economic and sustainability goals at the same time. Such practices require a holistic and multifaceted approach. Happy Cities are sociable, delightful, healthy, resilient, easy, inclusive and meaningful.


In short, there is a strikingly broad array of evidence to support


the use of urban design as an effective and necessary strategy to build and foster wellbeing. Our hope is that using an evidencebased wellbeing approach that incorporates emerging evidence from such diverse fields as psychology, neuroscience, public health and behavioral economics, provides city builders an opportunity to design and build cities that are livable, sustainable, equitable, healthy and happy. Visit:




How Living Walls Help Satisfy Our Biophilic Cravings According to a United Nations forecast seventy percent of the world population will be living in cities by 2050 [UNFPA 2007]. Such a major shift away from rural and naturally vegetated areas to the polluted, noisy and crowded concrete jungle of modern cities is and will continue to be profound. We must find new and innovative ways to better integrate nature into our ever expanding cities. Green roofs, urban parks and potted plants are one way to do this but there are substantial amounts of vertical space which for the most part have been underutilized. Living walls not only bring nature back into city life they do so in a way that is usually more accessible to everyone. Currently living walls are at the cutting edge of interior and architectural design trends but they are also being integrated into sustainable building design for their numerous environmental and health benefits.


Life in urban environments surrounds us with concrete, traffic, noise and pollution; this is not healthy. It has a profound impact on our physical and mental wellness. Greenery softens this hard environment, acting as a tonic to ease stress

The desire to be around living things is called Biophilia and this craving

and fatigue. Living walls provide a substantial and spiritual

for greenery becomes even more pronounced when it is vacant from the

connection to nature which is missing in the modern con-

areas that we live, work and play in. According to scientific reports car-

crete jungle [Green over Grey 2009].

ried out at American and European Universities, simply having a view of plants in a working environment give positive physiological responses.

Why is it that people feel more relaxed and less stressed

This translates into greater employee efficiency thus resulting in increased

around greenery? It is most likely due to man’s evolution-

earnings for the company.

ary bond with plants. According to some optometrists the human eye can distinguish between 2,000 shades of green, but only 100 shades of red [Eidson 2007]. Through human evolution, recognizing a plant’s shade of green was really important when you were about to eat it or use it for shelter or medicine. This could be one of the reasons why we feel so comfortable around plants.



1 - Lululemon Headquarters, Vancouver, BC. [Photo Credit: Ema Peter]. 2 - Guildford Town Centre Exterior Living Walls, Surrey, BC. Largest and most biologically diverse living wall in North America at just over 10,000sqft, incorporating 120 unique species. [Photo Credit:]. 3 - Ivanhoe Cambridge, interior green walls located at Guildford Town Centre [Photo Credit:]


A study carried out at Washington State University had participants’ blood pressure and emotions monitored while completing a simple, timed computer task in the presence or absence of plants. It concluded that when plants were added to the interior space, the participants were more productive [12% quicker reaction time] and less stressed [lower blood pressure]. In addition, immediately after completing the task, participants in the room with plants present reported feeling more attentive than people in the room with no plants [Lohr, Pearson-Mims and Goodwin 1996]. Plants help people to feel more relaxed and focused, which lead to an increase in productivity, creativity, idea generation, and problem solving capabilities. Another study was carried out at the Norwegian Agricultural University with the goal of assessing the effect of plants in an office on the health and symptoms of discomfort among office personnel. During randomized periods the subjects were exposed to bare office environments and to ones where plants were within view. It was found that during the periods that plants were present, symptoms such as cough, fatigue and dry/itchy skin decrease at 37, 30 and 23% respectively [Fjeld, et al. 1998]. If people have a view of foliage and feel healthier at work because of plants being present then the number of days off due to ”sickness” decreases [Bringslimark, Patil and Hartig 2006]. Gardens incorporated into hospitals have been shown to calm patients, improve their well-being and foster improvement in clinical outcomes such as reducing pain medication intake and shortening stays [Ulrich 2002]. These studies confirm that by having a living wall, or at least some form of greenery, close to our working and living spaces will improve


our overall health and wellbeing.






STANDARD As the average person now spends more than 90% of their time indoors, understanding how the built environment protects and supports human health is not only critical, but it presents a major opportunity. This is because healthy indoor environments can reduce toxic exposure, improve ventilation rates, support healthy eating and physical activity, enhance ergonomics, maximize daylighting and biophilic exposure, and allow for both focused group work and recovery time - to name just some of the benefits. Given this, the environments where we live, work, play and learn should enable us to more easily make these healthy choices.


By Whitney Austin Gray, Renée Rietveld and Martha MacInnis

Over the past decade, the building industry has increasingly positioned itself

The WELL Building Standard can be applied across

within the health and wellness conversation, with LEED as the catalyst, along with

many real estate sectors, with WELL v1 optimized for

the Living Building Challenge, Active Design Guidelines and others. Yet, there was

commercial and institutional office buildings. WELL is

a need to move beyond indoor environmental quality issues to include whole-

further organized into Project Typologies of New and

person health such as physical fitness, nourishment, mental health and wellness,

Existing Buildings, New and Existing Interiors, and Core

and to support healthy behavior choices. If, after all, even with optimal air quality,

and Shell, which account for specific considerations

you are still battling constant interruptions, glare from sunlight and temperature

that are unique to a particular building type. Pilot

regulation issues, compounded by a lack of healthy food options and no opportu-

Programs are also available for market sectors includ-

nity for physical activity breaks – the human body will be affected in other ways.

ing retail, multi-family residential, education, restaurant, and commercial kitchen projects.

A Path Toward Health and Wellness In 2014, the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) released the WELL


Building Standard® [WELL] to address this exact need through a holistic

WELL and LEED complement each other in the

approach. As the world’s first building standard to focus exclusively on enhancing

optimization of healthy and high performance environ-

people’s health and well-being through the built environment, WELL sets forth a

ments. IWBI welcomes projects to pursue LEED along-

path for designing buildings that support wellness while educating and engag-

side WELL in order to promote both environmental

ing the design and health industries about the importance of building design on

sustainability and human health. LEED certification is

health. The culmination of seven years of rigorous research and development

important for achieving the best possible outcomes for

working with leading physicians, scientists and industry professionals, WELL is a

environmental sustainability, and WELL maximizes the

performance-based certification system that marries best practices in design and

potential for supporting human health and wellness.

construction with evidence-based medical and scientific research. Projects earn WELL Certification by achieving features in seven categories of building performance – air, water, light, nourishment, fitness, comfort, and mind. Each WELL Feature is designed to address issues that impact the health, comfort or knowledge of occupants through design, operations and behavior.










• Commercial

• Retail

• Multifamily

• Education

• Restaurant

• Commercial kitchen


• New and existing buildings

• New and existing interiors

• Core and shell



The WELL Building Standard in Canada In 2015, at the Canada Green Building Council’s

TD’s pursuit of WELL Certification builds upon its already well-established

[CaGBC] annual national conference, Building

practices of incorporating health, wellness and sustainability into the design and

Lasting Change, President and CEO Thomas Mueller

operation of its office space. This latest project will incorporate additional aspects

announced that CaGBC would be working with

of workplace wellness such as adjustable height workstations and ergonomic tools

Green Business Certification Inc. [GBCI] to promote

to improve comfort and promote movement throughout the day. Open work areas

and advance WELL in Canada, saying, “We have

surrounding the perimeter will allow an abundance of daylight to permeate the

made a commitment to improving the environmen-

space, and task lighting at each desk offers the ability to modify light levels for

tal performance of buildings and homes, and now

optimum comfort.

we also want to ensure that buildings provide a

For times when a reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the office is needed,

healthy and productive environment for occupants.

a private room – dubbed the “Tranquility Lounge” – offers up quiet space and

The WELL standard is a timely addition to CaGBC’s

lounge seating.

programs, as health and wellness in the workplace is

Some features, such as enhanced water filtration and improved air quality, will

increasingly recognized as an important element in

not be quite so obvious to occupants but will be identified through clever wellness

attracting and retaining employees.”

signage and messaging throughout the space.


agreement to bolster adoption of WELL

For the additional ‘behind the scenes’ adjustments TD has partnered with Cadillac

in the Canadian market comes at an exciting time,

Fairview, owner and operator of TD Centre. Improvements to several base building

as approximately 15 million square feet of proj-

systems and operations will support carbon filtration for the HVAC and detailed

ects worldwide have already registered or certified

cleaning policies outlining operations schedules and equipment. To further support

through WELL. This builds on the more than 2,300

the health and wellness of employees, a WELL guide will provide information on

LEED projects already certified in Canada, creat-

the added features in the space, health benefits, assistance programs and other

ing tremendous opportunity to place people at the

resources available.

heart of design, construction, operations and development decisions. To start this progression into Canada, the CaGBC

TD will use the learnings from past projects, this current pilot, and features of the WELL Building Standard to inform and guide health and wellness integration for future projects.

has been working with IWBI and the U.S. Green Building Council to provide a series of WELL workshops in Canada. Please visit peri-

Become an Industry Leader Recognized for Canada’s Health and Wellness

odically for the latest WELL Workshop offerings.

WELL provides the opportunity to stand at the forefront of innovation in the

In addition, early research is being conducted to

sustainable and healthy building movement. Those who embrace WELL in Canada

develop case studies of WELL projects in Canada to

in its early stages will be industry leaders, demonstrating their commitment to

help demonstrate the effectiveness of WELL, both as

placing health and wellness at the center of building design and performance. To

an investment and a benefit for building occupants.

learn more about the WELL Building Standard in Canada and upcoming education opportunities, please visit For more information

WELL BUILDING PROJECT CASE STUDY – TD Centre, Toronto TD Bank Group is the first organization in Canada to register to pursue WELL Certification as a New and Existing Interiors project. TD is piloting this


approach in a renovation of corporate office space at its headquarters, TD Centre, in Toronto.




Faster, cheaper and


- making the link between sustainability and innovation By Helen Goodland

There are powerful forces of

Envelope assemblies are layering on so many more components and mechan-

change at work in Canada’s

ical systems are becoming so much more intricate that the risks of something

building country,




going wrong are also increasing – especially because these components


are frequently being put together high above the ground and in inclement


and construction (AEC) companies are facing profound

weather conditions.

regulatory, technical, demographic, macroeconomic, and consumer disruption.

Are we reaching the limits of what is technically or economically feasible within the “business as usual” context of how buildings are designed, tendered

In the context of sustainability, understand-

and put together? Why are owners willing

ing the business realities facing AEC com-

to take such risks? These are relevant ques-

panies is important. Pressures to achieve

tions but it’s more useful to plan for a resil-

environmental performance goals are being

ient, responsible construction industry that

superimposed on an industry that is already

is motivated to deliver affordable, carbon-

being pushed to deliver projects faster and

free, zero waste projects -- while providing

cheaper while facing rising prices and, in

a fair financial return to all parties.

many regions, a looming labour shortage. The design and construction process needs to be re-tooled with a focus on The root of the problem is the demand for ever-increasing

the entire construction supply chain: where sustainability intersects with inno-

performance expectations within the traditional mechanics

vation. For AEC companies to get to grips with the demands being placed on

of the design-bid-build process. To date, green building

them – to be faster, cheaper AND greener – they need to invest substantially

has largely been about making adjustments to conven-

in innovation.

tional practice. Bottom: BC has many strengths necessary to succeed – particularly in green building and innovative wood technologies. There is momentum and interest among BC construction industry leaders in the role innovation might play in improving the performance of buildings and the prosperity of the businesses involved in creating them. Photo Courtesy of Wood Works! BC as nominated by CEI Architecture (now HDR | CEI Architecture Associates Inc.) for the 2012 Wood Design Awards.



Top left - Programs like Project Shop Class aim to outfit high schools across BC with innovative and state-of-the-art equipment ensuring the next generation of skilled workers are being trained on relevant tools. Bottom left - “BC Construction Innovation Project” report provides ideas about what is needed to foster a culture of innovation. Bottom right - In BC, the AEC industry is facing a labour shortage, rising costs of materials, and a demanding green building code. Innovation is not just about day-to-day problem solving. It is about organized and proactive investment in people, technologies, processes and products that will cause discontinuous improvement - major leaps forward in profitability, productivity and performance. Examples of the benefits of investment in construction innovation are widespread. The UK experienced a serious recession starting with the global economic melt-down in 2008. Concerned that focusing on marginal returns would result in a slow and painful road to recovery and leave companies seriously exposed to stall pressures, very ambitious goals were proposed: cutting costs by 33%, construction time by 50% and emissions by 50% by 2025. The intention was to avoid “death by incrementalism” and kick-start the modernization process. Achieving the goals required a fundamental rethink of how buildings needed to be designed, procured, and assembled, and greater use of efficient processes such as prefabrication, preassembly, modularization and off-site fabrication. The ambitious goals provided a clear focus. The result was hundreds of millions of pounds of business and public investment pumped into construction innovation.




Photo: Innovative General and Trade Contractors who use BidCentral for construction bidding. Procurement technology is a high priority for the sector.

Fortunately, Canada has not suffered the same economic

It makes some important points. First, public and private sector investment

hardships as the UK. However, the motivations for taking a

in construction innovation has languished for years. Properly defining what

“step-wise” approach to improvement are strong.

is important to the industry in terms of R&D is a first step to re-engaging with funders and investors. Equally, the procurement process needs to be

In BC, the AEC industry is facing a labour shortage (2/3 of

improved to ensure that project quality and performance are properly under-

BC’s skilled workforce is over the age of 45), rising costs

stood and the risks and rewards are shared equitably. Innovation is stifled in

of materials and an increasingly demanding green building

projects where the ‘lowest price wins” and no account is made of life-cycle

code (the City of Vancouver is aiming for all new projects

based benefits. It is almost impossible for construction firms to propose inno-

to be carbon neutral by 2020).

vative solutions that will deliver efficient, high quality, sustainable projects if the client and design team are not on board from the start.

In 2015, the BC Construction Association commissioned a research project to consult with BC AEC firms and assess

The report also identifies the need for an industry-accepted interpretation

innovation readiness. The two-part “BC Construction

of innovation and industry performance metrics that can show improvement

Innovation Project” report (available on the BCCA web-

over time in key areas such as productivity, environment, reliability (cost and

site) sets out a vision of what innovation means to BC AEC

schedule), and client satisfaction.

firms and documents the current state of play, trends and drivers facing the industry, providing some ideas about

There is profound change ahead: the pursuit of improved environmental per-

what is needed to foster a culture of innovation.

formance is calling the “business as usual” paradigm into question. For the first time, there is support for change from across the industry. After all, many businesses may soon have no choice.

Helen Goodland RIBA MBA is principal of Brantwood Consulting and co-founder of Building Technology Innovations. She recently completed the BC Construction Innovation Project for the BC Construction Association. She serves on the Canadian Construction Association’s CSR Taskforce and is chair of the United Nations Sustainable Building and Climate Initiative’s Materials Technical Advisory Committee.




Deanna Fourt AScT, is Director of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Department, Vancouver Island Health Authority

with Deanna Fourt

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Department works with stakeholders

within Island Health to reduce energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and their environmental footprint. 1 Q: Are there any projects that you’ve been involved in in your career that particularly stand out?

Q: What have you learned most working on LEED projects?

A: The project that stands out the most for me is the Nanaimo Regional General

A: I’ve learnt that that it is a comprehensive, systematic,

Emergency Department. This project was built by Island Health’s Design and

holistic approach to building a sustainable building. LEED

Construction department and they did a tremendous job to create a beautiful,

buildings help to ensure that sustainability is included in a

naturally light, pleasantly ventilated space that is very energy efficient.

complex facility with many competing stakeholders. As

The design was a departure from the former emergency department that was windowless, lacked space and privacy. The new design was such a change from typical, the Board of Directors required reassurance that the project would not exceed the budget and as it turned out the project came

a building owner we have to be an active stakeholder to ensure that we get the performance we want included during the design stages and to follow up to ensure the systems are performing as intended.

in under budget. This was the first time we had naturally light courtyards for

My advice is to budget and plan for LEED at the very start

each of the three areas in the department allowing staff, patients and family

of conceptualization of the project. Set energy targets and

to have access to daylight and natural views which we feel provides a heal-

have very clear ideas of what kind of performance you

ing environment.

want from the facility. Be tenacious – it pays off. Our LEED

It was the first time that displacement ventilation was used where air supply is gently released into the space at occupant level and removed at ceiling level. The principal is that the air will warm and rise up carrying indoor air pollutants and pathogens away from the occupants.

buildings are operating efficiently and cost effectively while providing pleasant health environments for patients and staff. Q: Where do you see the future of green building headed in the near and more long-term future?


A: Green buildings are going to have to ensure that the greenhouse gas emissions are the minimum possible for the facility. All opportunities for using waste heat or cooling must be exploited through using heat recovery systems and if the Climate Leadership Plan is adopted for British Columbia public sector buildings will be looking for opportunities for onsite renewable energy. We must also look at the materials we are using for construction and make sure that they are not harmful to the occupants, and have not destroyed the environment or someone’s health in the manufacturing process. Finally we will have to adapt designs for the climate of the future.

1 - NRGH Emergency Department, Psychiatric Intensive Care and Psychiatric Emergency Addition,Ken Smith, Vancouver Island Health Authority Multimedia Services. 2 - NRGH Emergency Department, Psychiatric Intensive Care and Psychiatric Emergency Addition,Ken Smith, Vancouver Island Health Authority Multimedia Services.



PRODUCT PROFILE: SUNPUMP DELIVERS ON-DEMAND SOLAR HEATING This Northern home is being heated throughout the night to a cosy 22 °C [72 °F]. Is this even possible using low-cost renewable solar energy? Until recently the answer was simply no. Solar energy has been too costly and too intermittent to use as a primary heating system, especially in colder climates. The upfront cost, the long payback, the question of how to efficiently produce heat at night and the need for backups have all been barriers.

By Richard MacCarthy

Fortunately, with the advent of solar thermal hybrids,

times the heating for floors and hot water. It uses an insulated copper line-

the cost and performance limitations of solar heating

set like a ductless split heat pump, but can store 10 kW of solar energy in its

have been overcome. Solar thermal hybrids combine the

thermal Battery, and is whisper silent outside.

best aspects of traditionally separate heating systems together, maximising renewable energy production and energy efficiency. Solar Heat Pumps are currently the top choice hybrid for home heating, combining solar thermal panels with an air-source heat pump for high efficiency, on-demand renewable energy heating. They are a whole that is greater than the sum of their parts. The SunPump is the leading solar thermal hybrid available in North America today. The hardware itself is fascinating; with an air-source heat pump integrated directly into the solar panels themselves, not only does the SunPump operate 24 hours a day as a primary heat source, the high efficiency of the system offers great savings on monthly bills for homeowners. It is like a Ground Source Heat Pump in capacity, but is one-third the cost because roof panels are so much cheaper compared to drilling wells. It is like a Heat Pump Hot Water tank in size, but can put out five

The solar thermal/heat pump combination also means that the SunPump operates efficiently under all but the harshest of conditions. Thick clouds, rain, wind, freezing cold, after dark, even under some snow – by combining two different heating systems, one can make up for the other when conditions are tough. Most SunPump customers hail from the notoriously cloudy and rainy British Columbia, and if a solar thermal heating system can operate efficiently in B.C., it will work virtually anywhere. A Vancouver-based company with over five years of experience, SunPump Solar Inc. has grown steadily and found its own place in British Columbia’s thriving clean tech sector. The company operates on a simple core principle: that people want to choose renewable energy for home heating so long as it is affordable and efficient. It’s a belief that holds true right across the board, from the homeowners that actually buy the SunPump to the contractors and builders who install the system. Awareness of the importance of clean energy is at an all-time high, both politically and publicly. Countless studies have shown that people want to choose renewable energy, so long as it makes financial sense and so long as it works at least as well as what they are used to. For a Green Builder aiming for better than Code efficiency, a SunPump installation delivers renewable heating for space and hot water at cost parity with a carbon burning boiler or furnace system. The builder gets 10-14 Built Green points, and raises the selling price of the home by $30,000 for 7 kW of solar energy - according to a national appraisal study by Berkley Labs. The business case for Solar Heat Pumps is compelling now that the cost barrier has been eliminated. Why not choose clean energy when the cost is the same? Richard MacCarthy is a blogger and writer interested in Renewable Energy.​

Photo: An air-source heat pump integrated directly into the solar panels. 30


Attend the Awards Presentation Event At the 2016 CaGBC National Conference, “Building Lasting Change”


Toronto, June 6 2016 A great learning and networking event. Contact for your free registration.



SPRING 2016 | BC FOCUS focus 1-2 awards.indd 1


2016-04-27 3:24 PM

Buildings That Live. Rooftop Rainwater Cisterns Reservoir for circulating recap-

Green Roof System

tured rainwater. Irrigates sur-

Reduces storm water run-off and

rounding green roof system. Can

urban heat-island effect. Cools and

reduce (& sometimes eliminate)

improves surrounding air quality.

HVAC cooling costs radiantly.

Increases lifespan of roof. Provides thermal conservation & offers excellent habitat for pollinators.

Photovoltaic Solar Panels PV solar works symbiotically with living wall & green roof systems. PV Solar cells work 30% more efficiently when kept cool by plants, reducing the building’s

Living Facades

carbon footprint.

These trellis systems provide excellent protection for building cladding systems, thermal

Living Walls

conservation & acoustic buffering. Climbing plants allow for large

Architek’s living wall systems cost

coverage inexpensively.

less, use less water, and require far less maintenance. They provide beauty to the building’s exterior or interior and can utilize recaptured rainwater.

Water Management: Permeable Pavement Permeable pavements allow the

Water Management: Rainwater Harvesting

movement of stormwater through the surface. In addition to reducing runoff, this effectively filters

Captured rainwater can irrigate

pollutants from the water table.

landscapes, cool the building and provide an optional grey water source for flushing toilets etc.

Architek Sustainable Building Products provides solutions that breathe life and sustainability into the modern structures we live and work in.

Providing products, resources & expertise to architects, contractors and landscape designers, it’s never been easier being green.

Engineered Solutions For Living Buildings




Bc focus digital spring 2016  

CaGBC British Columbia Focus Publication Spring 2016