Landscape Architecture + Education + Regenerative + Natural Systems

Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability (CIRS)

Vancouver, British Columbia | 2008-2011

The Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability exists to create a more sustainable built environment, and the building itself is an extension of that research. Designed to be a living lab, it features sustainability initiatives that, at the time, had never been seen before in an urban setting. 

We gave the building two different kinds of green roofs so that students, researchers and anyone interested in sustainable buildings could see what a green roof could look like. The self-sustaining extensive green roof is includes sedums, grasses and drought tolerant planting that can grow in less than 150mm of growing medium. The intensive green roof requiring some irrigation and maintenance is filled with native shrubs, grasses, ground covers and perennials that create a unique urban habitat for birds and insects on the UBC campus. A rain garden helps ensure that any water generated by the building goes back into the ground. Three levels of trellises planted outside west-facing windows create a green screen that reduces sun exposure in the summer and lets in maximum light in the winter. 

Not only did the project attain LEED Platinum Certification, it was shortlisted as one of the Greenest Buildings in Canada.

Project Client
UBC Properties Trust
Project Collaborators
Perkins + Will


LEED® Platinum certified and is currently in the process of achieving petal recognition under LBC version 2.0


2015 Royal Architectural Institute of Canada: Green Building Award;

2012 Architectural Institute of British Columbia Architectural Awards: Innovation Award