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Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre Expansion Project


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New bookings brighten outlook for Vancouver's expanded convention centre


Vancouver Sun

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

VANCOUVER - A year ago, Tourism Vancouver's annual meeting was rocked by suggestions the city's $883.6-million convention centre project could become a white elephant attracting few big conventions.

What a difference a year makes.

Tourism Vancouver officials told the 2008 annual meeting Tuesday the expanded convention centre has already attracted enough new business to make 2011 the best year ever for city convention bookings.

"We are thrilled with the range and extent of new convention bookings for the expanded convention centre, " outgoing Tourism Vancouver chair Smith Munro told the meeting.

" . . . The [convention centre] expansion is on its way to being the busiest meeting place in all of Canada. The coming decade will see Vancouver as the world's gathering place, time and again."

Major conventions booked for the expanded facility in 2011 include the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the American Association of Physicists in Medicine and the Risk and Insurance Management Society.

Tourism Vancouver says confirmed bookings in 2011, combined with those it is still bidding for, could attract 120,000 delegates and 300,000 room nights in 2011.

Incoming Tourism Vancouver chair Geoffrey Howes told the meeting Vancouver has made a short list of four potential hosts for an unnamed "mammoth" convention in 2020 that would attract more than 50,000 delegates and create an economic impact of $57.7 million. The winning bid will be announced later this year.

The upbeat discussion contrasts to remarks made at the meeting last year, when Fairmont Hotels & Resorts regional vice-president Phil Barnes said lacklustre bookings threatened to make the new centre "the biggest empty ballroom in town."

The expanded convention centre will triple the amount of meeting space at the Canada Place facility when it opens in March 2009. It will be used as the international broadcast centre for the 2010 Olympics.


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posted by jlousa


Is it just me or does something seem out of scale in this picture. The size of the boats compared to the building. The way the boats are drawn makes the buiding appear smaller than it actually is.

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The New Convention Centre's Green roof boasts host of eco pros

New structure's high grass will be sanctuary for downtown pests

Susan Lazaruk


Sunday, August, 17, 2008

With the completion next spring of the new convention centre in Vancouver's Coal Harbour, there will be a few blocks of new parkland added to the city -- but they're strictly for the birds and the bees.

The expansion project, west of the current convention centre, is being topped off with a 2.4-hectare green -- or "living" -- roof that covers the flat, sloping segmented roof, and will be the second-largest in North America, next to a Michigan Ford plant covered with grass patches.

About one-third of the roof area was planted in late April with 400,000 seedlings and thousands more seeds, and is sprouting patchy green fuzz like a giant, flat Chia pet.

Two dozen different coastal grasses -- such as pearly everlast, nodding onion and field strawberries -- native to B.C. were chosen because of their ability to withstand drought and draw birds and insects, said landscape architect Bruce Hemstock.

"They are relatively easy to maintain and they create the habitat for the type of species we want to attract," he said.

Besides converting carbon dioxide to oxygen, insulating the building to keep heating and cooling costs down and reducing storm-water runoff, the green roof is designed as an ecological reserve.

"We want to promote bees, ants, other insects and birds to bring them back to the downtown," said Hemstock.

Humans will be allowed to look but not touch.

"You can't walk on it because then it becomes no more than a park and you lose all that [birds and insects]," he said. "I've seen swarms of honeybees up there already."

The sloping meadows of roof can be seen from adjacent rooftops as well as from inside the centre through specially designed view planes and while walking north on Burrard and Thurlow streets, he said.

And visitors will be able to get up close to the grasses by accessing the 1,500-square-metre roof of an adjoining section of the building to be leased for commercial use.

The remainder of the convention centre's roof, now covered with 15 centimetres of sand mixed with composted organic matter and lava rock carted up last winter, will be planted next month.

Landscapers left little to Mother Nature, designing the roof to withstand soil erosion from winds or heavy rains.

"Runnels" built diagonally throughout the roof are designed to mimic rivers to slow water runoff.

"We had a really big storm that lasted a week and a half and we had no loss of soil," said Hemstock.

The choice of plants and lack of natural prey are expected to keep unwelcome species such as rats, Canada geese and seagulls away.

But Hemstock said weeds, which he prefers to call "volunteer species," will be allowed to float on to the roof as long as they're not too invasive. Dandelions are fine; knotweed is not.

"It's self-maintaining and it will grow and change as the plants want to," said Hemstock.

A 43-kilometre irrigation system, designed to conserve water, is fuelled by so-called black water, the building's sewage that will be treated on site to a potable state. The auto-sensor is programmed to turn on if the plants wilt and only in the summer months.

No chemical fertilizers will be used and the grasses will be cut every fall and the clippings left for mulch.

If there are leaks in the 30-year membrane, the irrigation system's auto-sensor will locate them for quick repair, said Hemstock.

© The Vancouver Province 2008[

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Mr X I've noticed all you do is post pics and repost articles from elsewhere, can't you take any pics yourself? You seem to be on a bunch of forums, maybe you should spend a little more time outside instead of on the computer 24hrs a day. Maybe you'll get a better grasp of the world. The fresh air might cure whatever disease it is you think you have this week.

Good luck on your driving test, 3rd times a charm. :P

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Mr X I've noticed all you do is post pics and repost articles from elsewhere, can't you take any pics yourself? You seem to be on a bunch of forums, maybe you should spend a little more time outside instead of on the computer 24hrs a day. Maybe you'll get a better grasp of the world. The fresh air might cure whatever disease it is you think you have this week.

Good luck on your driving test, 3rd times a charm. :P

How about this.....go to hell.

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Wow! Why such the hostility? All I did was offer some friendly advice. Maybe once you get your drivers license you can gain some appreciation for a decent highway system. You can then go out and take some pictures for yourself.

Fresh air never hurt anyone. Maybe a vacation to Austrilla to see your hero would relieve some of that pent up stress. :P

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btw, X, I am still not impressed with this venue.

What you want is porno-architecture, and that's simply not what all architecture is about especially in Vancouver.

It's also about practical use and the surrounding environment....the whole concept of this convention centre design is to be an extension of the parkland/greenery adjacent to the site, with folding green planes creeping into the sky. The main purpose of this venue, which would have been built with or without 2010, is to showcase Vancouver's commitment to sustainability and green environmentalism techniques.

There was also an argument that the convention centre should not "steal the attention away from the Canada Place sails".

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ok i haven't been active in a while buuuut... had to jump on this one.

The convention centre? sustainable? why? because it has a green roof? it has some wastewater catchment systems, some energy loss systems etc, but it's still an inherently unsustainable building.

#1. it uses energy, electrical and otherwise.

#2. still uses water from the GVRD

#3. it is a major draw from the world and hence massive indirect carbon emissions from transportation (planes, cars, buses) to and from events at the centre make it unsustainable.

#4. Doesn't come to a balance between economy, environment and community (look in the bruntland report. that's where sustainability as a term was coined), instead focusing on the economics of the building overwhelming and the community very little.

it may be much more sustainable than what it could have been, but this is still a case of green washing. Sorry, the word 'sustainability' is bogus and is used so broadly, by everyone to sell more development.

The olympics aren't 'sustainable' and never will.

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