AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Projects

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City of White Rock Operations Building

Building materials are appropriate to both the building typology and to the region and its climate. The wood-frame building includes reclaimed timbers and roof decking. The building is clad in locally harvested and manufactured West Coast cedar.
Photo credit: Enrico Dagostini


  • Location: White Rock, BC, Canada
  • Building type(s): Industrial, Commercial office
  • New construction
  • 6,550 ft2 (608 m2)
  • Project scope: a single building
  • Suburban setting
  • Completed May 2003
  • Rating: U.S. Green Building Council LEED-NC, v.2/v.2.1--Level: Gold (44 points)

The City of White Rock Operations Buildings, in White Rock, British Columbia, is built on the site of the original operations building in a predominantly single-family residential neighborhood. An abandoned wastewater treatment plant's concrete clarifiers and pump house are used as a foundation for the facility.

The mandate of the City of White Rock was to make their new Operations Building as environmentally sustainable as reasonably possible, in accordance with the City's own policy of promoting Green Strategies in all their developments and planning initiatives.

Chosen as an AIA Top Ten Green Project for 2004. Submitted by Busby + Associates Architects, Vancouver, British Columbia. Additional project team members are listed on the "Process" screen.

Environmental Aspects

This small facility effectively combines a variety of green strategies. To gauge the success of these strategies, the LEED(r) green building rating system was utilized, and the aggressive goal of a Gold certification was set and achieved.

A green roof reduces heat gain in the environment, and natural ventilation eliminates the need for air conditioning. Solar hot water tubes provide heat for the building. Thermal energy in stormwater diverted into a detention tank from city streets is used to augment heating for the facility during the winter and assist in cooling during the summer. The City purchased green power certificates to augment its onsite photovoltaic power generation. Extensive daylighting reduces electricity use and connects occupants to the outdoors.

Waterless urinals and low-flow faucets are used throughout the facility. Stormwater is diverted to a detention facility, and used for flushing toilets and washing City vehicles. A pervious parking lot allows infiltration of water into the ground.

Materials were selected for their low impact on the interior environment, regional manufacturing, recycled content, and long-term viability. 97.75% by weight of the demolition waste was diverted from the landfill.

Owner & Occupancy

  • Owned and occupied by City of White Rock, Local government
  • Typically occupied by 37 people, 23 hours per person per week; and 50 visitors per week


Green framework, Stormwater management, Water harvesting, Efficient fixtures and appliances, Massing and orientation, Insulation levels, Glazing, Passive solar, Lighting control and daylight harvesting, On-site renewable electricity, Durability, Benign materials, Recycled materials, Local materials, Connection to outdoors, Daylighting, Natural ventilation, Low-emitting materials

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Last updated: 4/22/2004

Our thanks to the ENERGY STAR program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and to the U.S. Department of Energy, and to BuildingGreen, Inc. for hosting the submission and judging forms.

For more information about the AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Projects, contact AIA/COTE. For help on how to use this Web site, contact .

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