Vancouver’s glass windows have survived the post-crash boom better than many of its neighbours.
A new report from the Centre for Climate and Energy Solutions (CCES) says that while most of the world’s cities have seen their glass roofs collapse in recent years, Vancouver has not.
It says that unlike many other cities that have had to build new roofs to cope with the rapid expansion of CO2 emissions, Vancouver’s construction of its new glass roofs has allowed it to remain insulated from the weather.
The report found that while Vancouver’s window colour changed from black to green in the years immediately following the recession, the city has continued to get its new windows protected from the harsh winters.
“There is no indication that Vancouver’s new glass roof design has contributed to the loss of green window colour in the city,” said CCES co-author Peter Daley, an assistant professor at the University of Victoria.
In fact, the glass roofs are likely to have played a role in Vancouver’s resilience.
Daley said that in Vancouver, the colour of the glass can have an impact on the appearance of the roof.
Vancouver’s new roof is the most carbon-neutral construction in Canada, he said, and it’s the first in the country to use a combination of glass and timber.
That’s because timber trees are cheaper to buy and build than glass trees, Daley said.
According to CCES, the most cost-effective way to build a new glass building in Vancouver is with wood and glass, so it is the first city in Canada to do that.
Another key to Vancouver’s success in protecting its glass roofs is that the city is also using timber and glass.
CCES found that, in 2015, more than half of the buildings that were constructed in the Greater Vancouver area were wood and half were glass.
This is the result of the city’s use of timber and wood products.
While it’s still possible that Vancouver will have to build another glass building for the foreseeable future, it appears that it is becoming increasingly reliant on the new wood and wood product construction.
In the next few years, it seems that Vancouver is likely to build the first new glass structure in the province, said Daley.
“That’s a very promising development for the future of the region,” he said.
According to the report, the average life of a new wood or glass roof is about six years.
For more information on the glass building industry, see our blog on the industry.