Sustainable building set to open on Granville Island

March 23, 2006, vol. 35, no. 6

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The new Sustainable Building Centre opening March 25 in the heart of Granville Island grew out of a three-year SFU research project promoting sustainable community development using market-based innovations.

That project involved a discussion paper and a two-day sustainability conference last year where graduate students under the direction of geographer Mark Roseland, director of the SFU Centre for Sustainable Community Development (CSCD), sparked a dialogue on making sustainability happen.

Buildings consume 40 per cent of the world's total energy, 25 per cent of its wood harvest and 16 per cent of its water, says Roseland. The new centre offers resources, education and advisory services to help builders and the public who are interested in creating buildings that are more energy efficient and less wasteful of natural resources. "People can see sustainable building materials in action here," says Roseland.

Established by CSCD and Ecotrust Canada, and funded by a wide range of partners, the centre is a living laboratory of green and sustainable design, showcasing a variety of B.C.-made products.

The new centre also has a contract for part of a $1.9 million B.C. government pilot program, Community Action on Energy Efficiency, which will deliver a variety of sustainable building incentives in selected communities.

Located at 1575 Johnston St., the centre opens March 25 from noon-5 p.m. with its first exhibit, Ideas that Last, showcasing a selection of B.C.'s sustainable building projects, ranging from home renovations and interior design to major building projects and planned communities.

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