Apply bioclimatic architectural principles

Many cities around the world now apply bioclimatic design principles to reduce their energy use and mitigate their impact on the climate. This approach involves rethinking the shape of buildings and the way they are integrated into the surrounding environment, while making optimum use of specific local features and potentialities (climate, materials, environment, etc.). Port cities certainly have considerable potential in this respect.

Good practice

The Vancouver Convention Centre, completed in 2009, is a cornerstone of the urban ecology strategy for the city’s waterfront, created to address the aim of becoming « the world’s greenest city » by 2020. It is set in 14 acres of land in the former industrial port sector, and 8 acres above the water. LMN Architects, the firm behind the project, claim the complex was designed as a building, an urban space, a park and an ecosystem. One of its most striking features is the vast green roof, which has become an iconic sight in Vancouver. The roof was designed by PWL Partnership Landscape Architects. Covering almost six acres, it is planted with around 400,000 native species and is home to the 240,000 bees that provide the restaurant with honey. The undulating wave design of the roof echoes the nearby mountains, but also allows natural drainage. Marine wildlife is also encouraged to thrive by the installation of skirting around the building’s supporting columns. Heating and air-conditioning are provided by seawater pumps running on hydropower, a system that means the building uses 60% less energy than others of its kind. Water consumption is also reduced by 70% thanks to a recycling system, while an on-site installation filters and recycles waste water, which can then be used to irrigate plants or for other non-potable purposes. These sustainable solutions have garnered a host of awards, including double Leed Platinum certification, in the New Construction category in 2010, and later in the Operations & Maintenance category in 2017.

More information: LMN Architects