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Promoting intelligent building methods and materials for a sustainable future


C. K. Choi Building   

Vancouver, British Columbia
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).


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