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Green Buildings at Vancouver Aquarium

Aquaquest – the Marilyn Blusson Learning Centre

The 52,000 square foot Aquaquest – the Marilyn Blusson Learning Centre was certified LEED gold back in 2006. It has some interesting green features that are still innovative today.

Main Entrance Complex

When the Vancouver Aquarium initiated plans for its most expansive revitalization in its history, the cultural institution envisioned an innovative, sustainability-centered venue that would showcase aquatic life within the natural setting of Stanley Park. In 2014, the ribbon was cut on the new Aquarium Entrance Complex and visitors can now see the product of this vision from the moment they set foot in the immersive space. 

AquaQuest

Aquaquest – the Marilyn Blusson Learning Centre

The 52,000 square foot Aquaquest – the Marilyn Blusson Learning Centre was certified LEED gold back in 2006. It has some interesting green features that are still innovative today, including:

 

Cool As A Killer Whale

Whales and dolphins have a complex network of veins and arteries that act as a natural thermostat to regulate temperature. Inspired by their physiology, we've given our building an embedded system of pipes in the concrete ceilings that carries hot or cold water, heating and cooling each room far more efficiently than conventional heating or air conditioning.

AquaQuest Exterior
AquaQuest Plants

New Uses For Seawater

The Aquarium pumps in seawater from the ocean and distributes water throughout the building to many different areas including habitats and even our cooling system. In fact, we're cooling our facility with seawater that can absorb enormous quantities of heat. A "heat exchanger" in the basement cools the building by transferring energy from water in the building's pipes to the incoming seawater.

The Air We Breathe

The Aquaquest ventilation system uses convection to improve air quality – a natural process that makes life on Earth possible. Fresh air enters each room through vents near the floor and eventually exits through vents near the ceiling as it warms and rises. This upward airflow ensures that fresh air constantly replaces stale air, creating a more comfortable and energy-efficient space.

AquaQuest
Biodiesel Truck

Reducing Waste

When we demolished an existing building to make way for Aquaquest, we salvaged more than 75 percent of that building's materials. We used reusable steel "forming pans" instead of disposable plywood frames. We used less cement to make our concrete and replaced it with fly ash, an industry waste product that would have ended up in the landfill.


Main Entrance Complex

When the Vancouver Aquarium initiated plans for its most expansive revitalization in its history, the cultural institution envisioned an innovative, sustainability-centered venue that would showcase aquatic life within the natural setting of Stanley Park. In 2014, the ribbon was cut on the new Aquarium Entrance Complex and visitors can now see the product of this vision from the moment they set foot in the immersive space.  On October 11, 2016, it was announced that our goal to meet and exceed some of the highest sustainability standards had been achieved—this first phase was awarded the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification from the Canada Green Building Council, an international mark of excellence in sustainable design. Some of the buildings features include:

The Ecology of Place

As part of the Aquarium’s belief in preserving the local environment, the Complex was designed to preserve and enhance the existing Stanley Park forest character and ecology, selecting timeless, long-lasting, simple materials compatible with Stanley Park’s environment. The curvilinear shape of the Aquarium’s walls fit into the organic environment and topography of Stanley Park. Conifers and other infill native trees and shrubs were planted to restore the native forest. 

Rain Water
EMS

Water Wise Building

Some of the Main Entrance Complex’s sustainable features are less obvious to spot but are equally as important. Landscaping and civil design was developed to optimize storm water management and protect and restore open spaces. Water use is minimized through a number of features, including water-efficient landscaping, use of harvested rainwater for irrigation and toilet-flushing systems, high-performance plumbing fixtures such as low-flow or dual-flush toilets, waterless urinals, as well as  low-flow shower heads and faucets.

District Energy System Loop

During building, a District Energy System (DES) loop was installed. DES is a facility-wide, energy-efficient heat exchange system that redistributes energy among our buildings, exhibits and habitats. Features of the system enable us to recover heat generated in our Café to contribute to the heating of our warmer habitats (such as the Amazon Gallery) and utilize the cool ocean water flowing into our habitats to contribute to our air conditioning systems.

EMS
Jellyfish

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