Canadian development firm Ulmus Development Ltd. plans to build a mixed-use, eco-friendly project in downtown Kelowna, British Columbia, that’ll include self-storage and co-workspace. Slated to open next summer, the five-story EcoLock Kelowna will be the first of its kind in North America, and one of 16 projects to participate in Canada’s “Zero Carbon Building Pilot Program,” according to the source. The 112,000-square-foot building on Bay Avenue and Ellis Street will generate 105 percent of its electricity through solar and won’t be attached to the natural gas grid.
“Buildings are the No. 1 producer of greenhouse gasses in North America, and this project is raising the bar for sustainable development,” said Ulmus CEO Don Redden. “With 2.5 billion square feet of self-storage facilities in North America, many of the facilities are low-density, unproductive spaces that don’t contribute to the fabric of a neighborhood. EcoLock Kelowna will demonstrate that there are greener, more customer-focused alternatives to enable dense, walkable urban living and creative storage solutions.”
The building’s internal walls will sequester carbon by using Just BioFiber blocks. Made in Canada from waste hemp stock, each block can store 6.5 kilograms of carbon. The blocks can be used to replace a significant amount of steel and concrete in a project, which will lead to continuous de-carbonization of materials over time, the source reported. EcoLock will be one of the largest building-specific “sinks” of sequestered atmospheric carbon dioxide in the world. In addition, a 62,000-litre tank under the building will collect, filter and reuse rainwater for landscape irrigation.
The project was designed by Jason F. McLennan, a Canadian and the founder of McLennan Design, an international architecture and planning firm. McLennan is considered one of the most influential people in the green-building movement, the source reported. He’s a recipient of the Buckminster Fuller Challenge, an annual international design competition that awards $100,000 to the most comprehensive solution to a pressing global problem. He’s also the creator of the Living Building Challenge, an international certification program for sustainable building created in 2006 by International Living Future Institute.
“EcoLock Kelowna is pursuing the most stringent green-building standard in the world through the Living Building Challenge,” McLennan said. “Most commercial development hasn’t yet caught up with the trends toward high-performance sustainable design, and I believe this project will help lead the way.”
In addition to self-storage units, the building will contain Werkright co-workspace areas designed for local business owners who require a professional work and meeting area. “EcoLock and Ulmus Developments are excited to be bringing this innovative project to Kelowna to demonstrate how [British Columbia] companies are on the leading edge of combating climate change with creative environmental solutions,” Redden said.
The privately funded project has been approved by the Kelowna City Council. “The City of Kelowna is committed to building connected, strong neighborhoods and urban centers that help us limit our greenhouse gas emissions,” said Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran. “We also have corporate goals to reduce [greenhouse gases] in city-owned buildings, so it’s great to see a company like EcoLock come to Kelowna to build one of the greenest buildings in North America.”
Kelowna Capital News, Kelowna to Be Home of Green Self Storage Facility