Matsuzaki Wright Architects
The C.K. Choi Building at the University
of British Columbia offers 30,000 square feet of resource and office space for
the Institute of Asian Research. Striving towards the goal of sustainable
design, the project team assessed every design decision for its immediate and
long term impacts on the environment.
The design approach resulted in a building reliant upon atriums, high ceilings,
and operable windows to enable natural ventilation for cooling and air exchange.
Energy efficient design and daylighting strategies, such as daylight
sensors to dim indoor lighting, reduce the university’s electricity use by
192,000 kilowatt-hours annually. The building’s commissioning process includes
a tenant education program to ensure that occupants are aware of the
building’s features, how it functions, and their role in ensuring energy
efficient operation and good indoor air quality.
Rainwater and processed greywater from sinks are collected in a subsurface
cistern and used for irrigation. Sanitary waste is eliminated through the
use of the waterless and odorless composting toilets, which generate fertilizer
for use in landscaping. This combination eliminates the sanitary
connection for this project. A focus on reused and recycled
materials resulted in a high percentage of reused material in the building (60%
of primary wood structure, 100% of exterior brick cladding).