The Future is Green: Building an Eco-Friendly Commercial Real Estate in Metro Vancouver

With a pledge by Mayor Gregor Robertson to become the greenest city by 2020, Vancouver’s green transformation is underway. From new bike lanes to LEED certification, sustainability and eco-friendly building practices are now expected, rather than an added bonus. Thanks to savvy Millennials who are conscious of their eco footprint and the rise in climate change, electric cars are now the new luxury vehicles and zero waste is the new recycling. With the demand apparent, sustainable commercial real estate has become an attractive selling point in Metro Vancouver.

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Source: City of Vancouver/Facebook

An upcoming project by Hong Kong-based Brilliant Circle Group (BCG) is spearheading this new wave with their 232-acre development on the Port Moody-Anmore border. Recently featured in The Westender, BCG hired Peter Busby of Perkins + Will to bring an environmentally aware element to the project. For many, Busby needs no introductions, as he’s renowned for introducing the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) system to Canada and founded the Canada Green Building Council as well as the Sustainable Design Initiative. Taking a progressive and holistic approach, Busby plans to incorporate storm water capture, a district energy system, and a range of density and housing types into the development.

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Canada’s largest sustainable warehouse, acquired by Vancouver’s Concert Properties | Source: Western Investor

Another local developer making the headlines for a sustainable acquisition is Vancouver-based Concert Properties. Reported in Western Investor, Concert will be managing the country’s largest sustainable warehouse, receiving the first LEED Gold Certification for a property of its size. Located near The Toronto Pearson Airport, Concert may be setting the tone for similar facilities here on the West Coast.

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The CIRS building at UBC | Source: UBC Sustainability/Facebook

With new projects like Port Moody on the horizon, Vancouver is making a name for itself as a global leader in green building practices. At a previous Breakfast Event, architect and mechanical engineer Martin Nielson of DIALOG spoke about UBC’s Centre of Interactive Research on Sustainability (CIRS) as a prime example. Known as the most innovative and highest performing building in North America, its primary design goal was reach zero carbon emissions, be water self-sufficient, and create net-positive energy performance.

This concept, known as regenerative design, creates systems that restore, renew, and revitalize their own sources of energy and materials, essentially incorporating a zero waste infrastructure that includes the needs of the both the community and of nature. Now with consumer demand and new eco standards like LEED and GRESB, it may not be long before we see more of these types of regenerative designed buildings take precedent in the commercial real estate industry.

Do you foresee regenerative designed industrial, retail, and office buildings taking shape in Vancouver over the next 5 years? Tweet @naiopvancouver and let us know!

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