Scroll to top
© 2018, EcoLock Kelowna

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes EcoLock a green project?

EcoLock is setting the standard for green commercial development in Canada. EcoLock reduces atmospheric CO2 emissions through energy efficiency and uses innovative CO2 sequestration construction techniques. EcoLock will demonstrate that sustainable development can be cost-effective and located anywhere in North America.

EcoLock is one of 16 projects in Canada to participate in the Zero Carbon Building Pilot Program through the Canada Green Building Council.

EcoLock is pursuing the most stringent green building standard in the world, through the Living Building Challenge. The Living Building Challenge is the world’s most rigorous proven performance standard for buildings.

The building is designed by international architecture and planning firm McLennan Design and its founder Jason F. McLennan. McLennan, a Canadian and recipient of the prestigious Buckminster Fuller prize, is the creator of the Living Building Challenge and is considered one of the most influential individuals in the green building movement today.

How will the building contribute to efficient water management?

EcoLock will collect, filter and reuse rainwater within a 62,000-litre tank, located under the building, for all planting irrigation.

62,000-litre tank

Will EcoLock provide customers with competitive rates?

Yes, EcoLock will have very competitive self-storage rates. Through efficient and environmentally friendly building design, we will not be paying an electricity or gas utility bill. That helps us offer competitive pricing, while contributing to the sustainability of the communities we serve.

How does EcoLock reduce emissions and sequester CO2?

The internal building walls of EcoLock are built using Just BioFiber blocks, which each store 6.5 kilograms of carbon.  EcoLock won’t be connected to the electrical grid, as it will self-generate 105% of its electricity through the use of on-site solar panels. The building has no combustion sources and no connection to natural gas for zero on-site carbon emissions.

6.5 kg of carbon


Traditionally the self-storage industry hasn’t been very green. It requires a large physical footprint, promotes the acquisition of goods and generally requires a vehicle to access those goods. How will EcoLock address these issues?

Located at the corner of Ellis Street and Bay Avenue in downtown Kelowna, EcoLock will demonstrate that there are greener, more customer-focused alternatives to enable dense, walkable urban living and creative storage solutions.

In terms of the use of space, EcoLock combines self-storage and an active co-workspace facility, so the building is not only used for storage but for community building and networking.


What are Just BioFiber Blocks
made of?

Just BioFiber blocks are made using hemp hurd, which is a waste product that comes from the production of industrial hemp.

Industrial hemp is grown in Canada for its commercial value. The main products obtained from hemp stalk include seeds which have exceptional nutritional value and fibre which is used in many industries. Once the seeds/grain are harvested, the hemp stalk is processed separating the fibre from hemp hurd.

Just BioFiber blocks use that hemp hurd which would have otherwise been discarded in the production of their blocks.


How much land is required to grow hemp for the Just Biofibre Blocks?

To produce one million blocks per year requires about 3,000 hectares of land (about 7,400 acres). BC’s Agricultural Land Reserve covers approximately 4.6 million hectares. Hemp is seven times more efficient at sequestering atmospheric carbon dioxide than forests. In addition, hemp farms, unlike wood products have a minimal impact on animal habitats.

How much energy is going into production? What is the overall ‘footprint’ of the end product?

All construction materials require energy for their extraction, manufacturing, transportation and installation which in turn result in carbon dioxide emissions. Even sustainable materials such as wood and hemp hurd use energy and have a carbon footprint. However, in contrast to other construction materials, sustainable materials such as wood and hemp hurd sequester and lock-in carbon dioxide absorbed by the trees/plants while growing. This retention of biogenic carbon dioxide reduces the carbon footprint of these materials substantially and makes them a much more environmentally friendly option than other materials.

For commercial/industrial buildings and comparing the Just BioFiber blocks to concrete blocks, cast-in-place concrete and pre-insulated metal panels, we observe the following results (carbon emitted):