VIU Cowichan Campus Green Roof

Sustainable Site Development

VIU LEED Cowichan Campus logo

In 2009, VIU made a commitment that every building would be built to LEED® Gold standards, or equivalent.

Permeable paving stones in the parking lot at the Cowichn Campus.

Permeable paving stones in the parking lot at the Cowichan Campus.

Bicycle parking at the Cowichan Campus

Bicycle parking at the Cowichan Campus

VIU LEED Cowichan Campus forest image

VIU is pursuing a number of LEED® points that fall under this category. Some of these include:

Stormwater Management

The parking lot is comprised of permeable paving stones, which absorb some water and reduces the runoff entering community storm drains. Asphalt surfaces around the campus slope so that runoff drains to a bioswale. The bioswale, planted with rushes and grasses, is designed to remove silt and pollution from surface runoff water. This improves the quality of water that enters the surrounding environment.

Reducing the Heat Island Effect

Concrete, asphalt and conventional roofing surfaces absorb heat from sunlight because of their low solar reflectivity, increasing the local ambient temperature in developed areas. This creates a heat island effect and leads to energy waste due to greater cooling needs. The Cowichan Campus has been designed to exhibit a low heat island effect by using materials and landscaping techniques that reduce solar heat absorption. The parking lot is comprised of permeable paving stones, which have less mass and are a lighter colour than traditional asphalt or concrete. A large canopy of trees that provide shade for the site's exterior and a vegetated roof also reduce heat absorption. Furthermore, vegetation provides the additional benefit of converting carbon dioxide into oxygen.

Active Transportation

Shower and change room facilities, lockers and secure bicycle parking are provided to encourage and support zero-emission transportation. This includes cycling, walking, jogging and in-line skating.

Alternative Transportation

A public transit stop near the campus, designated carpool parking stalls, and charging stations for electric vehicles support and encourage low-emission, alternative transportation.