Media Release | Oct. 7, 1996
C.K. Choi Building new home for Institute of Asian Research
The C.K. Choi Building for the Institute of Asian Research
was officially opened today at the University of British Columbia.
The building houses five research centres focusing on different
regions of Asia: China, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, and
India and South Asia. It was made possible by contributions
from a number of major donors from Canada and Asia, including
a major donation from the family of Vancouver business leader
C.K. Choi, his son David Choi and other members of the Choi
family joined university dignitaries, Vancouver Mayor Philip
Owen, B.C. Education Minister Moe Sihota and Raymond Chan,
federal Secretary of State for Asia Pacific in the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs, at the opening ceremonies.
"This will be a very powerful and important institute of
learning that builds on UBC's long-standing tradition of research
on Asia and Asia Pacific affairs. We are most grateful to
the Choi family for their very generous support for this building,
as well as for the numerous scholarships they have established
to assist UBC students," said university President David Strangway.
"The university is also grateful to the many individuals
and organizations who have committed their financial support
to the five centres of Asian research that are now housed
in the C.K. Choi Building, and to the Government of B.C. for
its support through the matching fund program," he added.
Special events held to inaugurate the new building include
Asia Week Oct. 7-11, a celebration featuring daily concerts
and cultural events that highlight the different regions represented
in the building. Displays range from music, dance and traditional
arts and crafts to the latest Asian Internet Web sites on
view at the Institute's multimedia centre. Daily tours will
be given of the award-winning building, which is constructed
entirely of recycled and recyclable materials and features
the latest advances in environmental design.
As well, the institute will host an academic conference Oct.
8-9 called The Empowerment of Asia, which will bring together
prominent scholars from Asia and North America to discuss
Asia's growing international influence.
"This gathering promises to be a milestone in the reassessment
of Asia's role in the emerging global system," said Terence
McGee, director of the Institute of Asian Research.
Harvard University Prof. Tu Weiming, a renowned international
scholar on Confucian thought, will deliver the keynote address.
Weiming, director of the Harvard-Yenching Institute, will
speak on Confucian ethics as a spiritual resource for the
emerging global community.
Facts about the C.K. Choi Building for the
Institute of Asian Research
- One of Canada's most environmentally sound building projects.
- Designed by Matsuzaki Wright Architects of Vancouver.
- Total project cost $6 million.
- Offers 2,780 square metres (30,000 square feet) of resource
and office space.
- Funding from a number of major donors from Canada and
Asia including a generous donation from C.K. Choi and family,
with matching funds from the Government of B.C.
- The building was constructed using materials that are
recyclable or recycled, including bricks from demolished
buildings and wooden beams from UBC's Old Armouries.
- Water is preheated using waste heat from an existing steam
- Cooling and air exchange is provided by 100 per cent natural
ventilation. Atriums ventilate different parts of the building
through a stack effect. High ceilings and windows that open
also take advantage of natural ventilation.
- Offices are placed to optimize natural light, so the building
requires less than one-third the artificial lighting typically
used in an office building. Daylight sensors automatically
dim indoor lighting.
- Its energy-efficient design reduces UBC's electricity
use by 192,000 kilowatt-hours a year, the equivalent of
the amount of energy used annually by 19 single family homes.
This provides a savings to the university of $9,600 a year.
- Waterless, odourless composting toilets require no sewer
connections and produce fertilizer for the garden.
- Recycled grey water from sinks and captured rain water
is used for landscape watering, cutting water consumption
- Landscape design by Cornelia Hahn Oberlander includes
gingko trees, known for their ability to clean the air of
- The 1996 Earth Award from the Building Operators and Managers'
Association of B.C.
- Progressive Architecture Award for Green Architecture,
- Nominated for the 1996 Energy User News efficient building
awards, a North American-wide competition
- As well, the Colorado-based Rocky Mountain Institute,
which investigates global issues of energy conservation,
is including the Choi building in a series of case studies
on the most promising example of green development.
Director, Institute of Asian Research
UBC Public Affairs