The University of British Columbia in Vancouver is developing what has been hailed as the most environmentally innovative and high performance building in North America. The Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability will occupy three floors, and provide 120,000 square feet of “living laboratory” where not only sustainable research will be conducted, but the building’s effectiveness as a sustainable working environment will be actively analyzed.

This building will far surpass the nearly unattainable LEED Platinum Rating. The building will be greenhouse gas-neutral and be a net energy generator, utilizing a 250-kilowatt fuel cell. All drinking water will be provided by rainwater collection and all waste (yes, both liquid and solid) will be treated and managed on-site. Preliminary designs include photovoltaic cells, solar hot water collectors, and a heating and cooling system that utilizes ground source heat pumps. To top that, every workspace will be 100% day lit.

The architecture firm pursuing this bold endeavor is Busby Perkins Will. Although some of our research mentioned that the building should be completed in 2006, the schedule on CIRS website reveals that a more likely date is 2008.