VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitors Centre Named Most Sustainable Building

November 14, 2014

exterior view of the building.

Ledcor is extremely proud to report that the VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre has been named the Most Sustainable Building of the Year for 2014 by the World Architecture News (WAN). Now in its sixth year, the WAN Awards have evolved into the world's largest architectural awards program, involving 1,379 entries, 317 international judges and 72 countries. Other buildings shortlisted in the sustainability category included projects in Hong Kong, New Zealand, and Denmark. 

As lead contractor, we take pride in the exceptionally high building standards that contributed to the project’s prestigious award. Designed by Perkins + Will and landscape architect Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, the VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre was conceptualized to reflect a balance between architecture, landscape, and constructability. Inspired by the organic forms of a native orchid, the building features an undulating, free-form roof structure and a petal-like floor plan, and is now recognized as a pioneering structure in green design. 

Ledcor’s expertise in sustainable building was crucial to the centre’s LEED Platinum certification. The building features a number of energy efficient and sustainable elements such as geothermal heating, solar panels, water capture system, organic water purification system, and a green-roof designed to encourage growth of native flora and use by local fauna. 

The project enabled Ledcor to go beyond LEED certification, and be one of the first construction companies to participate in the Living Building certification program. The VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre was the first Canadian building to apply for the Living Building Challenge and aims to join four other projects that have met the standards required: a Living Building must be net-zero energy, net-zero water, non-toxic, reduce its embodied carbon footprint with carbon offsets, and recycle 80 to 100 percent of construction waste generated.  The certification is the most advanced measure of sustainability in the building business, and positions Ledcor as a leader in the industry.  

The VanDusen Botanical Garden Centre opened its doors in the heart of Vancouver in 2011. The centre has received many awards, including the top WAN Engineering Award in 2012, which honoured the project’s innovation and craftsmanship with wood, and the Sustainable Construction Gold at the 2012 Vancouver Regional Construction Association (VRCA) Awards.