Burnaby Developer A “Hero” For Green Building Practises

April 10, 2015


Burnaby, BC: The International Living Future Institute™ announced SFU Community Trust Director of Development, Dale Mikkelsen as one of the recipients of its 2015 Living Building Challenge™ Heroes Award.

Heroes were recognized at the Institute’s Big Bang Dinner, part of the annual Living Future unConference on April 2. Individuals who receive this distinction have demonstrated a fierce commitment to the Living Building Challenge and their desire to continually raise the bar on behalf of the green building industry. Heroes were nominated by Institute staff and other individuals familiar with their accomplishments.

As Director of Development for the Trust, Dale oversees the UniverCity Project, and is responsible for setting and maintaining a high level of urban design and environmental performance, including planning and building standards that incorporate ambitious targets for energy efficiency, material conservation, healthy environments and community building.

In practice, Mikkelsen provided the leadership in creating the UniverCity ChildCare Centre, expected to be designated as Canada’s first Living Building, and in establishing one of Canada’s largest neighbourhood energy utilities—eventually reducing greenhouse gas emissions on Burnaby Mountain by as much as 85%.

Previously, Mikkelsen was the City of Vancouver’s project planner for the Vancouver Olympic Athlete’s Village. He also acted as the City’s Green Building Planner. He served on the board of the International Living Future Institute for 9 years and is a past board member of the Cascadia Green Building Council.

About SFU Community Trust:
SFU Community Trust was established to oversee the planning and development of UniverCity, a sustainable master-planned community adjacent to Simon Fraser University on Burnaby Mountain. Currently home to 4,000 residents, the UniverCity development is at approximately the mid-way point already featuring distinct residential neighbourhoods, Highlands Elementary School, Richard Bolton Park and the UniverCity Childcare Centre—anticipated to become the country’s first living building. The community features all the shops, services and amenities you would expect in a complete community, all surrounded by an extensive conservation area with pedestrian and bike trails. At full build-out UniverCity will be home to 10,000 residents. The Trust has proudly established an Endowment Fund to support teaching and research at SFU and has contributed close to $30 million to date.

About The International Living Future Institute:
International Living Future Institute is an environmental NGO committed to catalyzing the transformation toward communities that are socially just, culturally rich and ecologically restorative. Composed of leading green building experts and thought-leaders, the Institute is premised on the belief that providing a compelling vision for the future is a fundamental requirement for reconciling humanity’s relationship with the natural world. It operates the Living Building Challenge, Declare, Cascadia Green Building Council, Ecotone Press and other critical leading-edge programs.

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February 2015 Community Update

February 24, 2015

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Click here to read the latest UniverCity Community Update newsletter.

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February 13, 2015


Thank you to those residents who participated in the 2014 UniverCity Resident Survey. This is the fifth time we have conducted the survey and we are pleased to note that one of the things most valued in the community was the sense of community/good for families/friendly atmosphere. This number spiked from ten (10) percent in 2007 to 29 percent in 2012, to 39 percent this past survey. Many indicators remained consistent: the location and natural setting of UniverCity as a definitive “like”; safety as a positive aspect of the community; and more than 90% of respondents would recommend UniverCity to friends and family. For a full review of the survey results, click here.


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UniverCity Community Survey 2014 | Your Community – Your Opinions

November 18, 2014

Webpage Pop Up

As a resident of UniverCity, you are invited to provide your feedback in a brief online survey (approximately 5 minutes to complete). This is one of the ways you can have a say in how you would like to see your community grow. We want to hear from you.

Mustel Group is conducting the online biennial survey of current residents until December 7th, 2014. We are asking all UniverCity households to fill out this survey. The research findings will help give direction for the planning of services and amenities at UniverCity, with the ultimate goal of enhancing the experience of living in this unique mountaintop community.

You can provide your input to this important research by completing a survey: http://surveys.givingopinions.ca/s/sfu

Complete the survey by December 7th, 2014 to be entered in a draw for a chance to win a $250 gift certificate to Nesters Market. 

Thank you for your time and valuable feedback.
If you have any questions please contact: sfu@mustelgroup.com.

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October 2014 Community Update

October 15, 2014

101514 Community Update Cover Click here to read the latest UniverCity Community Update newsletter.

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UniverCity Community Celebrates 10 Years!

August 27, 2014

UniverCity 10 Year Anniv Poster2

It was ten years ago this fall that UniverCity’s first residents moved into our award winning community on Burnaby Mountain. Since then, UniverCity has evolved into a complete community embracing over 3,500 inhabitants, and maturing to include dining and retail merchants, numerous shops and amenities, as well as the University Highlands Elementary School and the UniverCity Childcare Centre – the greenest child care centre on the planet.

In honour of our 10-year milestone, UniverCity is preparing for a week of anniversary festivities in September and we hope you’ll participate. Whether it’s joining us for the pancake breakfast, catching an outdoor movie, or bringing the kids out to the block party – anniversary week has something for everyone.

The planning of the block party and other festivities is still in the works so be sure to follow us on social media and visit this webpage to keep current on all the celebration programming.


Be sure to mark your calendars for our week-long celebration. Here are some event highlights to note:

Pancake Breakfast and Community Photo 
9:00am – 10:30am
Town Square


UniverCity Busker and The Market
11:30am – 2:30pm
Town Square

Wine and Beer Tasting Event 
6:30pm – 8:00pm
Club Ilia (8902 University High Street, Burnaby BC)
Join local up and coming sommelier John Gerum as you sip and savour wine and beer at this free event. Registration is recommended. Don’t forget to check out the UniverCity 10 Year Anniversary cocktail!

Outdoor Movie Night hosted by The Point Church – Rio 2 
Sunset (approximately 8:00pm)
Grass Field across from Strand Hall Building and west of the Town Square
Grab a blanket and get to the Grass Field early for a good spot in front of the giant screen to watch Rio 2.

Take the opportunity to enjoy a popular family film in a natural setting under the twinkling canopy of the stars. Get to know your neighbours in the community, share a few laughs, and maybe pick up something delicious to eat from the great variety of High Street merchants on your way there.


UniverCity Community Block Party
10:00am – 3:00pm
Town Square, University High Street, Sales Centres and surrounding areas
Includes performances by UniverCity buskers, Treehouse’s Bobs n’ Lolo, food trucks, inflatable climbing wall, face painting, photo booth sponsored by Scotiabank, free BBQ sponsored by Nesters Market, the market, bouncy castles, celebration cake, free parking and more!

Free Parking
Free parking in Lot B is provided by SFU during the Block Party. Please print the Block Party parking pass and display in your vehicle.

Want to get involved?
If you would like to become involved in the UniverCity Community Block Party by sponsoring an activity please contact Info@UniverCity.ca.

If you would like to volunteer at the Community Block Party, please complete the Volunteer Application Form and return it by email to Info@UniverCity.ca.

We hope to see you there!

Thanks to everyone who came out to our 10 Year Anniversary celebration events: Pancake Breakfast & Community Photo, Wine + Beer Tasting Event hosted by Club Ilia, (Outdoor) Movie Night hosted by The Point Church, and finally the UniverCity Block Party! For photos of our 10 Year Anniversary celebrations, please visit the UniverCity (UniverCitySFU) Facebook page.

For those who participated in the Red Carpet Photobooth sponsored by Scotiabank during the UniverCity Block Party, please send an email to Info@UniverCity to request the link to view your photos digitally. 


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