WAN Sustainable Building of the Year award for 2014 Winner

Tuesday 14 Oct 2014

Perkins+Will scoop top prize with their sustainable project

Many congratulations to Perkins + Will in Canada for their award-winning and exemplary sustainable project: The VanDusen Botanical Gardens and Visitor Centre, located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. We are delighted to congratulate you as the winner of the WAN Sustainable Building of the Year award for 2014.

The 19,000 sq ft LEED Platinum building is the first to apply for the Living Building Challenge in Canada. Inspired by natural forms and organised into a petal-like floor plan, the project includes the visitors' centre, café, library, garden shop & outdoor shop, classroom, atria and other flexible spaces such as the ‘flex room' and the Livingstone Plaza.

We enlisted the help of some of the industry's top experts on the subject of sustainability to assess the projects and select the winner. The panel consisted of:

- Ann Marie Aguilar: Associate Director at Arup Associates;
- Chris Castle: Main Board Director at EPR Architects;
- Heidi Creighton: Sustainability Consultant;
- Richard Hyams: Founding Director of AStudio.

Reviewing the six finalists to select the overall winner was long debated as the final six projects had each tackled sustainability issues in different ways in accordance to location and materials readily available. Ledanger's Upcycle House made use of found and reclaimed materials, tackling carbon reduction during construction. The Powerhouse Kjørbo in Oslo, Norway by Snøhetta, meanwhile, uses reclaimed buildings that will give back more energy than they use. The panel members each had their work cut out, but eventually the final choice was between the VanDusen Botanical Garden Centre, the University of Queensland Global Change Institute and 1 Embankment Place.

The jury decided to award the win to Perkins + Will for their outstanding work on the Botanical Garden Visitor Centre. They reached this decision based on their holistic and impressively high building standards for the project, that aims to reach the highest possible accreditations in sustainability. The jurors were also impressed by the centre as a design for the future that can be learnt from and used as a strategy for future sustainable building around the globe.

As is often the case, our panel held a few projects in high esteem and wanted to award the ‘highly commended' award to two additional projects for their impressive approach to sustainability and interaction with their communities in accordance with locale. Congratulations to:

- No 1 Silo in Cape Town, South Africa by Van der Merwe Miszewski Architects (VDMMA) & Rick Brown Architects (RBA). This is the first large-scale building in South Africa to be awarded the 6 star rating for ‘design' from the GBCSA and the first building of any size to be awarded the coveted 6 star rating ‘as built' by the GBCSA.
- ZCB, Zero Carbon Building in Hong Kong, China by Ronald Lu & Partners. Designed to inspire positive change in the public and the industry towards carbon reduction and sustainable living. It is the first zero-carbon building in Hong Kong and the first of its kind globally in a sub-tropical high-rise and high-density context.

Many thanks to everyone who took part and a special thanks to our panel for their expertise and selection.

If you would like to know more about the work talked about here, or any of the other projects entered into this year's WAN Sustainable Building of the Year award, then visit our website: www.wanawards.com or contact awards@builtenvironmentmedia.com to find out how you could win a place amongst the best in practice in your specialist field.

Faye Chalmers

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