JULY 2015

First Green Roof on a PNE Home

We are proud to have supplied and installed the very first GREENROOF on a PNE Prize home at the beginning of the year. Showing that Greenroofs and their benefits are taking root in the residential market place.  Make sure to come by this summer and take a tour.

Check out the photos: PNE prize home green roofPNE Prize Home

March 2014

Architek Opens New Living Building Hub in Vancouver

Architek has moved into new offices at 28 West 7th Ave, Vancouver, BC. The large space is centrally located, just minutes from downtown. It allows our adminstration, sales and installation teams to all come together in a single, convenient location.

We can now show off all the green products we carry, with displays and photos to help our clients see the innovative ways they can be used..

We invite Living Building professionals to visit us...

Read full story with photos

September 2013

Architek greens up Tile Ideal building in Grande Prairie, AB

When you think of your roof, you may not consider the kind of environmental benefits it could have on your city or town. But did you know that by simply installing a ‘green roof,’ a roof dedicated to plant life, you could save on renovations and even help prevent damages caused by heavy rainfall?

Ron Schwenger, principal with Architek, a Vancouver company specializing in green roofs, rainwater management and living walls, said the new roofing system they began installation on at Grande Prairie’s Tile Ideal Tuesday, can help in all those areas.

Grande Prairie Daily Herald-Tribune
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Read full article

July 2013

Vandsusen Wins International IGRA Award

Vandusen Botanical Gardens green roof has just received the prestigious international IGRA green roof leadership award for 2013.

Read full story

July 2010

Architek partners with Greenscreens in Pacific Northwest.

For 17 years greenscreen has pioneered the living facade concept, with hundreds of thousands of square feet installed throughout North America.

Manufactured from recycled steel, this flexible design system is long lasting, cost effective, easy and inexpensive to maintain, can easily be adjusted to custom specs and never penetrates the building envelope.

Learn more at greenscreen.com

September 2010 | INHABITAT.com

Architek awarded VanDusen Garden Green Roof system.

VanDusen Botanical Center is Canada's 1st Living Building.

The VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre in Vancouver is designed to LEED Platinum standards, featuring a Zinco green roof, net-zero energy consumption, black-water recycling and a host of other green features.

The design echos the leaves of an orchid. The atrium at its center was built from rammed earth with a glass tower that provides natural daylight and exhausts hot air. The centre will be completed this spring.

Read full article at inhabitat.com



Making the business case for Living Architecture in an economically driven world.

Last December at the CitiesAlive! green roof conference in Vancouver Canada, Cornelia Oberlander accepted a well-deserved GRHC Lifetime Achievement Award for her pioneering work in living architecture and promoting its role in modern urban society. So later during the conference, I had to smile when prompted by another colleague's enthusiasm regarding the prospect of the five-dollar per square foot green roof arriving in North America - Ms. Oberlander once again shared her thoughts on how green roofs mean so much more for our quality of life, our sense of community space and, therefore, should not be measured in economic terms alone; a singular message she has spread since the 1950s.

I believe there is an urgent need for us to collectively re-think our passion for living architecture to discover new ways of making the business case for the private sector, which is primarily driven by return on investment.

We need to make a better business case to the private sector which builds, owns and operates billions of dollars of real estate every year on the basis of economics. Does this mean we only need to make green roofs and green walls cheaper to get their business? While that is a start, there are other economic factors that living architecture professionals can use to build a financial case to support their recommendations including:

1. Longer-term ROI projections: Five-to-seven-year return models are just one point of view where sustainable buildings are concerned. When amortized over longer terms, many cost vs. benefit comparisons start making sense. Engineered green roof systems can triple and even quadruple the lifespan of roof membranes meaning that they do not need to be replaced as often – a significant capital-cost saving over decades.

2. Integrate green technologies for better performance: Combine green building technologies in new ways that increase performance and save money. For example, solar panels mounted on green roofs and irrigated by rainwater harvesting systems make a powerful combination that offers significant cost, performance and environmental benefits, even in the short term.

3. Thermal performance studies: Whole-building thermal energy studies measure the real effects of living architecture on a specific building envelope. These indicate real cost savings on cooling loads, building enve lope longevity and stormwater savings. While expensive andtime consuming, this might be just the thing that a larger client needs to make a decision to go green.

4. Carbon offsetting: Green roofs generate carbon offset credits that can be sold on carbon trading exchanges. By assigning their credits to an offsetting company, building owners can generate revenue. At present this is only feasible for large-scale projects but protocols are being devel- oped to combine smaller installations to pool the revenue among smaller projects.

5.Traditional vs.sustainable building costs: There are increasing indications that the cost premium to build a green building compared to a traditional construction building is not as high as widely thought. More- over, this cost premium translates into significantly higher property valua- tions and reduced operating costs.

6. The HR health and productivity factor: Corporate tenants will often pay a rental premium to locate their operations to a green building rather than a traditional construction building. Whether it is real or pseudo-science, the perception among many tenants is that green build- ings make happier and more productive employees with lower employee turnover rates.

7. Government incentives: Research available programs and present any financial contributions with your recommendations

8. Public relations: While not directly financial in nature, companies love to position themselves as conscientious corporate citizens. Outline the specific environmental benefits that they can use to promote their green project.

If the private sector is the future of our industry, we must learn to speak their language, and that is the language of business based on cost, return, and profit and loss. Cornelia Oberlander has dedicated her lifetime to help people understand why they should do it; today, it is now up to all of us to better demonstrate living architecture is also good for the long-term balancesheet.

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