Architecture Universities in Canada

Vancouver Island University wins architecture award for green roof

Vancouver Island University wins architecture award for green roof

Vancouver Island University won an award for the green roof at its Cowichan Campus. Click on the image to see more photos. (Photo courtesy of Garyali Architect Inc.)

Going green is paying off for a Canadian university on the west coast.

Vancouver Island University will receive one of the 2013 Green Roof and Wall Awards of Excellence for a green roof at its Cowichan Campus. This is one of several awards given by Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, which recognizes innovative living architecture in North America.

Though the practice of greening rooftops is prevalent in many European countries, Canada is only starting to catch on.

“It’s becoming more commonplace, ” says Ric Kelm, executive director of infrastructure and ancillary services at Vancouver Island University. “It’s similar to a computer chip. The more it’s available, the lower the cost. It’s not a novelty anymore.”

(Photo: Randy Sharp)

“It’s definitely a trend, ” says Randy Sharp of Sharp & Diamond Landscape Architecture, which worked on the Cowichan Campus roof. He points out that several municipalities, including Richmond, B.C., and Toronto, have by-laws that usually require at least 50 per cent vegetation on roofs that are 5, 000 square feet or more.

Even without by-laws, Sharp says a lot of people are voluntarily building green roofs. “A lot of the office buildings in Vancouver have extensive green roofs because they command a higher lease rate.”

Shiv Garyali, whose company Garyali Architect Inc. was the architect for the Cowichan Campus roof, says green rooftops are common in British Columbia and he’s seen them in Toronto. “In other places in Canada, I don’t see much of it.”

Few green roofs are like the one on Cowichan campus. Spanning three different levels, it has six types of roofs, including one made of sedium that Sharp describes as like “outdoor green carpeting.” There is a variety of plants, from black hawthorn trees to fescue grasses. There’s also a section known as the “blue roof, ” which gathers rainwater and turns a bluish hue in the springtime, when the purple irises and camus lilies on it blossom.

It even has a section for students to grow beans, tomatoes and lettuce.

Ninety-five per cent of the plants on the roof are indigenous to the area. “We’re bringing those native habitats of the Cowichan Valley right onto the building to be part of this living laboratory for students, ” Sharp says.

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Imperialism 101

by justyouraveragecitizen

Imperialism 101
Chapter 1 of Against Empire by Michael Parenti
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Imperialism has been the most powerful force in world history over the last four or five centuries, carving up whole continents while oppressing indigenous peoples and obliterating entire civilizations. Yet, it is seldom accorded any serious attention by our academics, media commentators, and political leaders. When not ignored outright, the subject of imperialism has been sanitized, so that empires become 'commonwealths,' and colonies become 'territories' or 'dominions' (or, as in the case of Puerto Rico, 'commonwealths' too)

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