Vancouver Goes Green in 2019

By Michael J. Solender, February 13, 2019

Visitors to Vancouver, British Columbia, can’t help but be smitten by the city’s physical beauty, architectural charms and abundant green space.

From the perennial award-winning Stanley Park—a 1,000-acre oasis of civility on downtown’s edge—and the miles-long linear greenway and park that is the Vancouver seawall to the bustling Port of Vancouver and the nearby North Shore Mountains overlooking the city, Vancouver charms all who visit.

Hailed as one of the world’s most livable cities, Vancouver aims to burnish its reputation to include world’s greenest city as well. The city’s Greenest City action plan is an aggressive undertaking that addresses waste, transportation, development, water usage and renewable strategies.

Planners are taking notice, placing Vancouver high on their list for conferences and meetings.

Here’s a peek at how Vancouver Convention Centre is getting its green on followed by our take on green-inspired city attractions for meeting participants to enjoy during their free time.

Vancouver Convention Centre

The facility, one of the largest in Canada, is the first convention center in the world to achieve double LEED Platinum certification. Two connected buildings flank a busy pedestrian plaza, offer nearly 467,000 square feet of flexible meeting space and deliver dramatic views of downtown’s shimmering waterfront. The center holds more than 500 meetings each year including the international TED Conference, hosted here annually since 2014.

  • Developed in 1986 as the centerpiece to the World’s Fair Expo, the convention center is a leader in green initiatives and takes special pride in rolling out the green carpet for visiting groups. These include:
  • A 6-acre living roof, the largest in Canada and the largest nonindustrial living roof in North America. More than 400,000 indigenous plants and grasses act as a building insulator, reducing heat buildup in summer and heat losses in winter. The roof is also home to four beehives with European honeybees that yield a modest supply of honey.
  • A restored marine habitat is constructed into the West Building’s foundation. Visitors can watch the variety of sea life darting about from floor-to-ceiling windows facing the harbor or along the outdoor patio overhanging the man-made reef.An advanced black-water treatment plant recycles gray and black water, returning it to the facility for restrooms and rooftop irrigation.
  • The center’s heating and cooling system uses the adjacent seawater to cool the building during warmer months and for heat in cooler months.
  • Green initiatives extend into the center’s kitchens where fresh, local and seasonal ingredients take a starring role at meals and local sourcing contributes to less energy consumption for transportation. Food waste and scraps are also sent for composting. There is an extensive facilitywide recycling program, including organics.
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