BC Cancer Foundation’s Research Building wins gold for going green

The BC Cancer Foundation has been awarded the prestigious LEED Canada Gold certification for its landmark BC Cancer Agency Research Centre in Vancouver. Designed by IBI Group/Henriquez Partners, Architects in Joint Venture, the $95-million Centre is world-renowned for groundbreaking cancer research, and is the first newly constructed health care or laboratory building in Canada to achieve the LEED Canada NC Gold ranking.

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) designation is awarded by the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) to leading-edge buildings that incorporate environmentally sustainable design, construction and operational features to reduce the environmental impact.

“The BC Cancer Foundation is thrilled!” President and CEO Mary McNeil said. “This project has never been just about building a great facility, but about creating an environment where researchers can achieve their best. All of us felt it was very important to strive for an environmentally sustainable building, especially one dedicated to cancer research.

The building is owned by the BC Cancer Foundation and opened in March 2005, $6 million under budget and one day ahead of schedule. BC Cancer Foundation donors supported a major fund-raising campaign for the project that began in 1997.

The BC Cancer Agency, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA), operates the research centre and is responsible for its 80 specialty departments, each of which works to generate new knowledge and to discover better ways to predict, prevent and treat cancer.

According to LEED Canada’s program manager Ian Theaker, the building’s LEED Canada NC Gold rating was the result of “exemplary” features including:

*energy efficiency: 42 percent energy savings with no use of HCFCs
*flexibility of design, including interstitial service floors that allow work spaces to be reconfigured as technology and services change
*water efficiency, achieving “exceptional” 43 percent savings, including the use of waterless urinals as a first for this type of building
*24 percent recycled construction and finishing materials, described as “extraordinary” for laboratories and health care facilities

“The success of this project is a testament to the clear vision of the BC Cancer Foundation and BC Cancer Agency, the articulation of this vision by the design team, and the craftsmanship of the builders and all who combined an inspired architectural design, advanced building systems and sustainable design in this world-class facility,” said project engineer Blair McCarry of Keen Engineering’s Vancouver office.

The BC Cancer Foundation will host an official award presentation ceremony in September at the BC Cancer Agency Research Centre, located at 675 West 10th Avenue in Vancouver.