Big glass high-rises mean modern, high-tech, success, money, and, to some, beauty. Certain real estate markets -- like downtown Toronto's -- have an addiction to this particular shining look that's hard to break and tenants have come to expect all the glass. But the glass boxes pose particular problems for energy efficiency, glare and comfort that some green developers want to expose.
What are the two most common complaints from office workers? It's too hot, and it's too cold. These dichotomous complaints are symptoms of a wider problem. Not only do aging, poorly-designed office buildings do a terrible job at keeping the people within them comfortable, they are energy sieves that are expensive to operate and maintain.
The Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability, or CIRS, building on the University of British Columbia campus is a building that nearly lives and breathes. Determining what the greenest building in Canada is a bit of a fool's errand. But if green is a journey to architecture that regenerates and repairs the environment around it then the CIRS building is something to aspire to.