COPE Commissioner Loretta Woodcock was the lone vote against a concept design plan for the VanDusen Botanical Garden new visitor centre presented at the Sept 21 Vancouver Park Board meeting.
The $35 million dollar project will be jointly funded by Park Board, the VanDusen Botanical Garden Association, and government grants. The goal in the design is to create a "living building" certification that is higher than LEED and attempts to model carbon neutral "zero ecological footprint" building concepts based on the most up to date principles of self-sufficient sustainability.
During the briefing on the energy systems proposed for the new facility, Commissioner Woodcock questioned whether incinerating wood waste was the most sustainable energy technology. Although she spoke in favour of the landmark design, she voted against the project to protest this proposed technology.
Within a matter of days, Comm. Woodcock was informed by staff that the project is exploring a geo thermal energy system, which is the same energy efficient system that was installed in the new Sunset Community Centre.
" I’m pleased to hear that wood waste technology will be shelved in Vancouver, a city making efforts to be the greenest in the world,” said Woodcock. “Here’s an example of democracy at work where even a minority vote can influence policy".