The Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability (CIRS) was developed in response to the challenge of creating a more sustainable society. Its intention is to be an internationally recognized research institution that accelerates the adoption of sustainable building technologies and sustainable urban development practices.
Designed on the principles of regenerative sustainability as outlined by Dr. John Robinson–the active restoration and regeneration of the environment; and the active pursuit of improvements in the well-being of the community–the CIRS project is an opportunity to better understand the practical applicability of these principles and the implications for long-term performance and use of the building. Recognizing that the project is a work in progress, UBC endeavours to share information from its research and operations so that others can learn from the successes and challenges.
CIRS serves a dual research purpose as an interdisciplinary research facility as well as a sustainable building research subject. As the flagship demonstration project of UBC’s Campus as a Living Laboratory Initiative, CIRS was the first UBC project to comprehensively document the design and construction process, as well as collect data on the performance of the building and engage building inhabitants in research. Project information is made available to researchers working to create more sustainable buildings and urban developments.
Partners from private, public, and NGO sectors share the facility, working with researchers to identify areas for innovation in sustainable technologies and practices and to create a springboard for their development and widespread implementation.
Resources & Research
- CIRS Building Overview 
- CIRS: Test Lab for Sustainability [HPB, Spring 2015]
- CIRS Wood Building Case Study 
Theses & Dissertations
- Normalizing sustainability in a regenerative building: the social practice of being at CIRS [Coleman 2016]
- Understanding the performance gap: an evaluation of the energy efficiency of three high-performance buildings in BC [Chu 2016]
- CIRS pre-occupancy evaluation: inhabitant feedback processes and possibilities for a regenerative place [Reckermann, 2014]
- Application of life-cycle approaches for the evaluation of high-performance buildings [Storey, 2014]
- An investigation of the indoor environmental quality of a sustainable building at UBC [Lei, 2014]
- 'Smart' energy systems and networked buildings: examining the integrations, controls, and experience of design through operations [Fedoruk, 2013]
Reports & Publications
- A case study: The energy performance gap of the Center for Interactive Research on Sustainability at the University of British Columbia [Salehi et al., 2015]
- Did pursuing LEED make the CIRS building more energy efficient? [Salehi et al., 2015]
- Learning from failure: understanding the anticipated–achieved building energy performance gap [Fedoruk et al., 2015]
- Comparing Design and As-Built Simulations with Actual Measurements for a Large Multi-Use University Building [Terim Cavka et al., 2014]
- Improving the performance of a whole-building energy modeling tool by using post-occupancy measured data [Salehi et al., 2013]
- A Sustainable Building Promotes Pro-Environmental Behavior: An Observational Study on Food Disposal [Wu DW–L et al., 2013]