About the Building
The Vancouver Convention Centre (VCC) is an icon of Vancouver’s downtown waterfront. It sits in the Inner Portion of Burrard Inlet and consists of two buildings: an East (located in Canada Place) and a West Building. The West building is an expansion of the facility that features extensive green practices and technology (including the habitat skirt) and has won awards and received certifications for environmental and architectural aspects. Most notably, the West building is the first convention centre in the world to receive a LEED Platinum certification, which is the highest level of certification for green buildings.
About the Expansion
The actual expansion of the VCC took place from 2004 to 2008 (with the building being open to the public in 2009), though thoughts of expansion date back to the 1990s. Initially budgeted for $495 million, the expansion ended up costing a whopping $883 million for an area of 100,000 m2, which is roughly four city blocks. About one and a half city blocks, or 40% of the expansion, was built over waters containing fish habitat, which meant that Fisheries and Oceans Canada required habitat compensation. Before the expansion, the site was a brownfield with extensive contamination left over from industrial uses.