Everyone's got their eyes on this summer's Olympic Games in Beijing (and how one of the world's smoggiest cities will cope), but Vancouverites are already strategizing how to green their own Pacific city for the Winter Games in 2010. The city is planning to emphasize local employment, constructing the Richmond Oval's roof entirely out of British Columbia-sourced wood, and redeveloping a former industrial area, among many other sustainable initiatives.
My eyes are on the Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Center (VCEC), which is expanding its 133,000-square-foot building to cover a total of 1.2 million square feet (that's four city blocks). The new LEED-certified building will feature a fish habitat, an on-site water treatment and seawater heating and cooling system, gray and black water recycling systems, as well as a six-acre "living roof," which will be home to 400,000 indigenous plants.
The VCEC's earth-savvy efforts [pdf] earned it one of Canada's first "Go Green" certificates, and they also will purchase "Green Power" certifications--electricity generated in British Columbia from sustainable sources. By the time the expansion is completed in 2009, the convention center will be one of the greenest convention centers in the world.
Sometimes bigger really is better. That's a gold medal in my book.
Photo: Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Center