The Vancouver Convention Center



The Vancouver Convention Center



Even if you had doubts that the “greenest Olympic games” were merely marketing buzz words, you have to be impressed that the implementation of the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Center (VCECE) expansion has surpassed the extremely ambitious sustainable initiatives that were first proposed. As of April 2009, the world’s first LEED Platinum certified convention center also boasts the largest non-industrial green roof in North America.  During the XXI Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games, the center served as the international broadcast and media hub. The expansion tripled the square footage and functional capacity of the old convention center, which was a necessity to house 7000 media guests who broadcast live to millions of viewers across the globe.
Olympic Rings on water in front of Convention Centre
                                                                                                                The Green Roof
The green roof is landscaped with more than 400,000 indigenous plants and grasses from the Gulf Islands, providing natural habitat to birds, insects and small mammals. This unique ecosystem is planted over 12" of growing plants, and the vegetated roof is just one of many environmental innovations included in the expansion. Some additional highlights:

•­The green roof is designed to act as an insulator, projected to reduce summer heat gains by up to 95 percent and winter heat losses by up to 26 percent.
•Canadian Premier Gordon Campbell took part in the final planting, saying “The living roof … is going to be something that is recognized around the world.”
•The convention centre project was designed to achieve LEED® Canada Gold certification, but received Platinum.

With the expansion complete,  the new size covers 1.1 million square feet (or four city blocks) for a combined total of 471,000 square feet of pre-function, meeting, exhibition, and ballroom space. The Vancouver Convention Centre now offers the ability to hold multiple simultaneous events, each with their own separate access and function spaces.

Built over land and water, with floor-to-ceiling glass throughout that treats guests to phenomenal harbour and mountain views, the new West Building is a masterpiece of design, inspiration and sustainability. Their commitment to green technology can be found in every corner: the “living roof,” seawater heating and cooling, on-site water treatment and even fish habitat built into the foundation.







                 Breathtaking Mountain Views


It's easy to think green at the Vancouver Convention Centre. With more than 350 events per year, they maintain an extensive environmental program and work closely with clients to ensure sustainability in all events.

 "The Vancouver Convention Centre played a vital role by providing an environmentally-responsible venue for the World Urban Forum 3, which earned Four Star MeetGreen Certification for excellence in green meeting practices."
- Meeting Strategies Worldwide

Recycling: They recycle an average of 180,000 kilograms of materials annually – nearly half of the total volume of waste generated.

Food & Beverage: Their 'scratch' kitchen uses fresh local ingredients without additives, avoids disposable utensils and dishes, and donates leftover food to local charities.

 MI4 filming at the Convention Centre

Another new aspect to the Convention Centre is the increased interest in the facilities as a movie and tv film site. The large, futuristic architecture lends itself easily to a myriad of set decorators visions. The most recent and most documented in the local papers was the feature film Mission Impossible 4, with Tom Cruise.

Convention Centre communications manager Jinny Wu said they don't keep a cumulative total of revenues from film, but it costs a minimum of $10,000 per day for productions to use the centre's space, plus fees based on the amount of space they're using and how long they're staying.

"Every production has been very different," Wu said in an interview.

Convention Centre as Bangalore for MI4

Besides the Bangalore street scene, the centre has stood in as a German train station and a bank for the A-Team movie shoot, Tokyo's Narita airport, New York's John F. Kennedy airport, something called the Seattle Municipal Tower and a Manhattan boardroom. The centre reports an average of two visits a week by location scouts.

 "It's a new thing for us, but it's very exciting," Wu said.

Certainly worth the trip downtown - this work of modern architecture and eco-consciousness is a real feather in Vancouver's already natty hat.

Formal Event at Convention Centre



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