The Joggins Fossil cliffs site is a 16km stretch of sea cliffs and beach along Nova Scotia’s Bay of Fundy coast which presents the finest carboniferous fossil exposure in the world. In 2008 the cliffs were inscribed on the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. The interpretive centre was conceived as an introduction to the cliffs, with exhibits depicting their geological and scientific significance.
"The purpose of the centre and its setting provided the design inspiration for the project. The plan and form of the building are designed to echo shape of the cliffs; the angled coursing of locally-sourced sandstone mimics the rock strata and the green roofs feature local plant material."
Consuming fossil fuels at a centre dedicated to preserving fossils would be incompatible with the Centre’s mandate, so a number of alternate energy technologies were implemented, along with several green building design strategies. Locally sourced and recycled materials were used, and to reduce energy consumption, the project features a wind turbine which produces a significant portion of the electricity need by the centre. Other energy-related initiatives include solar photovoltaic panels, solar hot water panels, diffusive glazing panels, and heat pumps.