VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre
As one of Vancouver’s renowned tourist destinations, VanDusen Botanical Garden has been a landmark for over 30 years, creating a picturesque landscape year-round with its unique plant collection.
The facility’s renewal project included a new garden pavilion 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. The development is pursuing the Living Building Challenge – a certification program that addresses development at seven performance areas: Site, Water, Energy, Health, Materials, Equity, and Beauty.
Integral Group designed the mechanical and electrical services for this LEED Platinum certified project. The strategy behind the 22,000 sq. ft. living building involved taking into consideration the building’s natural surroundings to ensure a harmonious balance between the built and natural environment. The Net Zero Energy performance has been achieved by first optimal passive design using heavy mass rammed earth walls providing thermal stability and comfort as well as passive ventilation and cooling driven by stack-effect generated by the central atrium’s “occulus”. The active, highly energy-efficient systems include radiant slab heating tied to a vertical closed loop geo-exchange system combined with solar thermal and solar PV systems, as well as internal heat recovery providing seasonal thermal recharge of the geo-exchange system. To meet the Living Building Challenge criteria, the project integrates technology without the use of combustion.