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The Centre for Architectural Ecology is defined by collaborations in living architecture and building science, in the context of urban communities and cities. As a research centre in the BCIT’s School of Construction and the Environment, we are concerned with the natural and built environments and the relationship between them.

Our story

The Centre was established in 2003 by Dr. Maureen Connelly, MAIBC, PhD (Faculty Emerita) with the construction of a dedicated research facility at the Great Northern Way campus. As part of its polytechnic stream, the Centre’s mandate is applied research and education. The Centre also works with industry for direction on education and policy mechanisms, and conducts third party testing of industry products.

green roof facility

The Centre’s first lab, the Living Architecture lab, expanded from our first phase of green roof research (2002-2007). This research produced findings that described the stormwater mitigation and thermal efficiency of extensive green roofs in the climate of coastal BC. In addition to the Green Roof Research Facility, a regional infrastructure network evaluates performance green roof performance in other parts of the province. The next phase of research (2007 – 2010) expanded to include native plants on the Elevated Research Platform, living walls, and acoustical characterization of living architecture.

In 2010, the Centre moved to the BCIT Burnaby campus, this timing aligned with the opening of the Graduate Program in Building Science. The location of our labs can be found on our Contact Us page. We have the living architecture lab with a classroom for hands on training.

The Centre for Architectural Ecology supports the academic, design, and construction communities to understand the connection between buildings and the urban environment through nature, and help advance through collaborative research the living architecture systems and technologies in this region. BCIT students (graduate program in building science, undergraduate architecture and interior design, environmental science, engineering technology, and trades programs), as well as students from regional universities and other institutes, are involved in various research projects here based on their area of study. The green roof courses are very popular among practicing professionals and qualify for learning units by the Architectural Institute of BC, the BC Society of Landscape Architects, and the Planning Institute of BC. The upcoming Building Environment and Climate courses will serve the graduate and undergraduate programs. The courses will be open as profession developments course to the building science and architectural community and as electives in other programs pending prerequisite approval.