Higher Ed Buildings Earn Top Green Globes Rating

Two higher education facilities in British Columbia, Canada have now been recognized with the highest level of the Green Globes building assessment and rating system.

University of British Columbia Fipke Center earned five Green Globes when it opened in 2008.

The Charles E. Fipke Centre for Innovative Research (Fipke Centre) and the adjacent Arts & Sciences Building are located on the Okanagan campus of the University of British Columbia (UBCO). These are the first campus buildings in the world to each receive five Green Globes and are also the first paired buildings to attain this distinction.

Both buildings were designed by global firm Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning Ltd, in collaboration with the UBC Properties Trust.

Green Globes is an online auditing tool designed to recognize buildings that improve environmental performance with regard to management, site, energy, water, resources, emissions, and indoor environment.

Developed in Canada in 1996, the Green Globes program is applied in Canada and the United States. In Canada, the version for existing buildings is operated by BOMA Canada under the brand name BOMA BESt. In the U.S., the program is operated by the Green Building Initiative (GBI).

The program is based on a graduated rating system, ranging from one to five Green Globes. An evaluation of five Green Globes is the highest ranking level available.

UBCO's Arts & Sciences Building most recently earned five Green Globes.

Completed in 2008, the three story 6,579 m² (70,816 sf) Fipke Centre was the first building in Canada to achieve five Green Globes and the first facility on the UBCO campus to use a geo-exchange groundwater energy system for heating and cooling. The Fipke Centre and the Arts & Sciences Building both contain laboratories, classrooms, student commons, and offices to support a variety of research projects. On average, a laboratory consumes five to 10 times more energy per square foot than an average office building.

Now, the Arts & Sciences building at UBCO has been awarded five Green Globes. The four story 7,950 m² (85,573 sf) includes a theatre and an animal care facility.

The project team for both facilities adopted a whole building approach to the design, using Building Information Modeling (BIM). This permits each building to be viewed as interdependent system, rather than an accumulation of separate components. The owners, architects, and engineers collaborated to ensure all the building systems work together in harmony, resulting in improved energy efficiency, sustainability, economy of construction, and enhanced occupancy health and comfort. Recent analysis of energy consumption data from the Fipke Centre indicates that the building is 46% more energy efficient than a standard reference building that meets the requirements of the Model National Energy Code for Buildings (MNECB).

Kasian Principal Michael McDonald is the project director for both the Fipke Centre and the Arts & Sciences Building: “These multipurpose academic and research facilities take the understanding of environmental design to a new level, supporting the growth of a locally responsive, but globally conscious community at UBCO. These buildings set the benchmark for sustainable design for university campuses worldwide.”

(Photos courtesy of Kaisan)


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