Walas Concepts Canada was heavily involved in the Building Lasting Change conference in Vancouver, May 29 to June 1, 2017. Building Lasting Change is Canada’s largest green building conference and organized by the Canadian Green Building Council. Its focus is on creating solutions to climate change, with the goal of engaging the Canadian building industry in the fight to reduce GHG emissions.
Wilco van Bemmel, COO of Walas Concepts Vancouver, was invited to deliver a keynote presentation on the revitalization of existing buildings and neighbourhoods. In developed economies, at least half of the buildings that will be in use in 2050 have already been built today. This means that the sustainability of our cities depends largely on how we use and reuse the existing building stock. However, successful revitalization and repurposing of buildings is a great challenge.
Walas Concepts has a long and successful track record on the repurposing and reimagining of underutilized buildings and spaces. Wilco van Bemmel shared his insights, best practices and lessons learned from recent large-scale Walas projects in the Netherlands, including a former textile factory and an abandoned 1960s office building. A follow up event was held at Dudoc Vancouver, organized by the Dutch Consulate in Vancouver, where participants explored more deeply strategies to revitalize buildings and discussed lessons from both Canada and the Netherlands.