Accelerating Sustainability with CIRS

Yesterday was the official opening of the Center for Interactive Research on Sustainability (CIRS) at the University of British Columbia (UBC). The CIRS building is one of the most innovative high performance facilities in North America that will embody green building design best practices and foster research and collaboration on sustainability solutions.

CIRS inside and out photo credit: Don Erhardt    CIRS at UBC photo credit: Don Erhardt

The grand opening of CIRS coincided with the inaugural Celebrating CIRS | Accelerating Sustainability conference, with renowned speakers such as David Suzuki and Steve Rayner (Thursday opening keynote sponsored by Cisco, introduced by Kegan Adams).

The conference brought together a wide range of industry experts with a vested interest in the adoption of sustainable practices for the creation of next generation buildings and communities. There were three complimentary themes throughout the conference with in-depth breakout sessions on each of them.

The first theme discussed the notion of regenerative buildings and regeneration at a community scale. Regenerative design follows “cradle-to-cradle” processes that “restore, renew or revitalize their own sources of energy and materials, and therefore creating sustainable systems that integrate the needs of society with the integrity of nature”. The second theme dealt with the notion that we have to engage the public and wider eco-system of  stakeholders to drive optimized results and continues performance improvements. It’s where buildings and their users work in harmony, where we achieve greatest sustainability.

Lastly, the third theme recognized that if we want to accelerate sustainability, we have to build new partnerships and create a platform of innovation. Albert Einstein once said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.  If we really want to drive (and accelerate) sustainability, we have to change the way we do things—starting with process, people and behavior.

Cisco is a proud partner of UBC and CIRS and we are looking forward to our collaboration in search of improved, optimized, and accelerated sustainability. If you want to find out how Cisco and our IP Networks can help make your business, buildings and communities greener, please come and visit our website.

About Rick Huijbregts

As Vice President, Smart Connected Communities, Rick Huijbregts leads the development of Cisco Canada’s Smart Connected Communities practice including Smart Connected Real Estate. Huijbregts is responsible for accelerating the growth of this industry in Canada. Huijbregts holds a bachelor’s degree in construction management from the Tilburg Polytechnical University in the Netherlands, a master’s degree in real estate development and project management from Delft University in the Netherlands, and a doctorate from Harvard University with a specialization in real estate technology and investment management. En tant que vice-président, Communautés Smart+Connected, Rick Huijbregts est chargé de l’expansion de Communautés Smart+Connected de Cisco Canada, y compris de Smart+Connected Real Estate. À ce titre, il lui incombe de stimuler la croissance de cette industrie au Canada. M. Huijbregts détient un baccalauréat en gestion de construction de l´université polytechnique de Tilburg, aux Pays-Bas, une maîtrise en aménagement immobilier et en gestion de projet de l´université de Delft, aux Pays-Bas, ainsi qu´un doctorat de l´université Harvard avec spécialisation en technologie immobilière et en gestion de placements.
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