VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitors Centre

Location: Vancouver, BC
Architect: Perkins + Will
LEED Certification: Targeting LEED Platinum
Sustainability: Net Zero, Pursuing Living Building Challenge

As one of Vancouver’s renowned tourist destinations, the VanDusen Botanical Garden has been a landmark for over 30 years, creating a picturesque landscape year-round with its unique plant collection. The facilities renewal project includes a new visitor center designed to support VanDusen’s vision of providing an inspiring and enjoyable environment for visitors by constructing a ‘living building’ that aims for a net-zero ecological footprint.

We were retained to provide mechanical and electrical consulting services for this target LEED Platinum recreation project. The strategy behind this 2,000 sq. m. living building involves taking into consideration the building’s natural surroundings to ensure a harmonious balance between the built and natural environment. A living building (net-zero) generates all of its own water and energy on site on a net annual basis.


• Natural ventilation
• Displacement ventilation
• Building orientation for maximum energy performance
• Free cooling via an integral heat stack effect
• Net-zero energy onsite
• Solar collectors for energy re-use and exportation
• Heat recovery
• Radiant floor heating
• Private sanitary treatment system
• Rainwater collection and re-use onsite
• Ultra low flow plumbing fixtures throughout
• Green roof