Building green, really green

Kelowna needs more storage space, and the world needs fewer greenhouse-emitting buildings.

In other words, Vancouver’s Ulmus Development Ltd. will be checking off both boxes when it builds EcoLock Kelowna at the corner of Ellis Street and Bay Avenue over the next 10 months or so.

EcoLock Kelowna is being billed as the first “fully green” self-storage facility in North America thanks to its interior walls made of waste hemp stock, its on-site solar panels and its future membership in the Zero Carbon Building Pilot Program. It will be completely off the electrical and natural gas grids.

“It will be one of the most sustainable buildings in the world, and I’m proud that it will be located right here in Kelowna,” Ulmus CEO Don Redden said during Tuesday’s groundbreaking ceremony at the building’s future site.

Redden noted that buildings are the biggest culprits when it comes to carbon emissions, even more so than transportation. In Vancouver, for example, more than 50 per cent of greenhouse gases come from buildings.

EcoLock Kelowna plans to do its part for the environment primarily through its interior walls, which will be made using blocks from the JustBioFiber company. They are made of hemp hurds, which is the core of the hemp plant, and lime. The pieces click together, and the final product is smoother than drywall.

“The blocks also breathe, so you’re basically living in filtered, fresh air,” JustBioFiber vice-president Michael deChamplain said.

Read more at OkanaganEdge.net

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