Sustainable design and environmental protection have been integral to DIALOG’s practice for decades – as far back as the Granville Island Redevelopment Plan in the late 1970s. DIALOG’s Vancouver studio was recently recognized for its commitment to environmental protection, and specifically the advancement of urban watershed and salmon health, with Salmon-Safe BC’s design firm accreditation. This accreditation is particularly significant, as this is the first time it has been awarded in Canada.

 

We have a responsibility to protect our local salmon and watersheds, as well as restore, regenerate, and celebrate urban ecosystems. Salmon-Safe BC’s accreditation program provides a framework that addresses the connection between land use practices, water quality, and watershed health.
Martin Nielsen

Accreditation acknowledges the work DIALOG Vancouver has done to foster a culture that prioritizes sustainable design, as well as a commitment to implementing Salmon-Safe principles wherever possible. 

Salmon-Safe principles that DIALOG will work to implement include:

  • working to help educate local general contractors and landscape contractors about stormwater model guidelines
  • considering each project site’s context with regards to urban ecological function, stormwater management, habitat conductivity, municipal policies, Coastal Health regulations, and response to climate change
  • providing leadership in site planning strategies for active travel by minimizing road space for vehicles and elimination of surface parking
  • working with various disciplines on a project to explore innovation for blue-green roofs, water management, integrating solar, biodiversity, and energy performance
  • promoting salmon-friendly design practices and material choices among all project disciplines for hardscaping, outdoor furnishings, art, and other amenities
  • prioritizing criteria from project-relevant green building certifications that accomplish or support Salmon-Safe standards
  • selecting project materials based on forest stewardship, watershed protection, and chain of custody, with priority given to sustainably-sourced materials (e.g. FSC-certified woods for outdoor furniture and amenities, etc.)

 

We appreciate the opportunity to work with passionate experts such as those at Salmon-Safe BC and wish to continue advocating together for a more just and ecologically rich urban system.

Salmon-Safe program champions in DIALOG’s Vancouver studio will educate and engage with other DIALOGers across all five studios and share best practices; however, this accreditation only applies to the Vancouver studio. The studio’s accreditation will extend through February 2024.

The Salmon-Safe BC Program is administered by the Fraser Basin Council, a British Columbia-based organization that is part of the larger Salmon-Safe network, which has been fighting to protect water quality, maintain watershed health, and restore salmon habitat from California to Alaska since 2007.

Congratulations to the Vancouver DIALOGers who that worked diligently to secure this important accreditation!