June 30, 2015
Public disclosure of embodied environmental footprint puts WIDC building on the leading edge
BC’s Forestry Innovation Investment engaged the Athena Sustainable Materials Institute to develop an environmental building declaration for the new Wood Innovation and Design Centre, a mid-rise building in Prince George, BC designed by Michael Green Architecture. The building is owned by the Province of British Columbia, with the University of Northern BC as the main tenant. The environmental building declaration (EBD) reports cradle-to-grave environmental performance for the entire building over a 50-year life, based on life cycle assessment.
An environmental building declaration is similar to an environmental product declaration (EPD) as a vehicle for transparent reporting of measured environmental (LCA) performance data. The manufacturing community is quickly getting on board with product declarations, but performance measurement and declaration is still new at the level of whole buildings. As an advocate for wider use of LCA in sustainability practice, the Athena Institute is pioneering EBDs with leading-edge building owners. This is only the third EBD published by the Athena Institute to the whole-building international standard EN 15978.
The WIDC team is setting a great example for building owners and designers. By using LCA to transparently disclose the environmental performance of their new building, they’re demonstrating the future of how we talk about and validate green buildings.
Banner photo courtesy of Ema Peter Photography.