Categories: Environmental
The University of British Columbia sought to create the one of the most sustainable buildings through the incorporation of green infrastructure products including green roof media, and an infiltration bioswale for storm water treatment.
Project Details – University of British Columbia, Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability

University of British Columbia
Landscape Architect
PWL Partnership
Veratec Products & Services Required
Custom lightweight Green Roof Media (Tierralite)
Custom Biofiltration Media (EcoMedia)



  • The most innovative high performance building in North America, incorporating green roof technology and an infiltration bioswale for storm water treatment.
  • TierraLite custom engineered lightweight media was utilized for the green roof application to meet requirements for saturated bulk density, infiltration and horticultural properties.
  • EcoMedia, a custom engineered filter media, was used in the bioswale to reduce leachate of nutrients and contaminant removal such as dissolved metals.


Project Description

The CIRS Building at UBC is designed as a living model for sustainability in the way we build and use our structures. Its goals of zero carbon emissions, water self-sufficiency, net-positive energy and zero waste put it at the forefront of global research and design.

The green roof required a lightweight media to meet the demanding specifications from a horticultural and engineering standpoint, and EcoMedia by Veratec was the solution. The green roof was not only central to plant life on the structure but an integral part of the water management plan for the building by allowing the capture and infiltration of rainwater for re-use.

The bioswale contains EcoMedia, an engineered filter media which removes pollutants from rainwater runoff and is designed to be low-leaching to prevent excess nutrients from entering local waterways. It is a key component to maintaining water quality in local aquatic systems.

We are proud to have contributde to a world-class showcase of green construction techniques.