GREEN BUILDINGS

Buildings help serve UBC’s academic mission by creating a sustainable, healthy place for teaching, learning and research, as well as places to socialize, live and play. The Whole Systems Infrastructure Plan provides a framework that supports sustainable campus growth, community wellbeing and ecological resilience.

Campus buildings account for approximately 92% of campus operational emissions per year, and, 13% of campus operational and extended emissions combined. Of the 92%, campus heating accounts for 95%. Building heating by natural gas is the key end-use that must be reduced to achieve significant operational greenhouse gas emission reductions. Incorporating integrated green building design, low carbon energy supply, sustainable building operational practices and occupant engagement also play a critical role to reduce emissions from buildings.

Institutional Building Requirements

Guided by the UBCO Whole Systems Infrastructure Plan and UBC’s Green Building Action Plan, UBC Okanagan’s Institutional Green Building requirements clarify requirements for new buildings and renovations on campus.

UBC Building Certification Requirements (Vancouver & Okanagan Campuses)

Since 2008 the BC government has required that all public-sector buildings, newly constructed or undergoing major renovation, achieve LEED Gold or equivalent certification.  UBC requires all Tier 1 and Tier 3a projects to be LEED Gold certified using the most suitable LEED rating system.

Alternative certifications may be considered where appropriate (for example certification through the Zero Carbon Building StandardPassive House or Living Building Challenge). In all cases alternative certifications should be pre-approved.


UBCO Design Guidelines – Section 4: Green Building Requirements

LEED V4.1 Requirements


UBC Okanagan requires that all major projects earn LEED Gold certification for new construction. In 2022, UBC completed the UBC LEED v4.1 Implementation Guide, noting that LEED v4.1 has been launched by the USGBC as a beta version, to allow the market to work with the draft rating system and provide feedback based on real-world application.

The LEED v4.1 Guide is intended to provide project teams with the UBC-specific guidance required to optimize LEED for the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses, identifying credits that are mandatory and/or expected because they align with UBC policies and those which have been identified as less beneficial to the campus because they do not directly align with policy. However, the UBC LEED Implementation Guide for LEED v4 will continue to guide projects registered under applicable rating systems until LEED v4 projects are complete and certified. Projects may elect to apply v4.1 credit compliance paths as applicable, and in accordance with USGBC guidance.

Download UBC LEED 4.1 UBC Okanagan Scorecard


UBC Integrated Sustainability Process

All new UBC Okanagan building projects and major project renewals must follow the UBC Integrated Design Process to ensure the integration of sustainability and resiliency goals into the development process.

UBC Integrated Sustainability Process .pdf document


Waste Requirements for Green Buildings

UBC Okanagan’s waste requirements for green buildings adhere to UBC’s requirements for recycling infrastructure, construction and demolition waste and waste tracking.


Green Building Guided Tours

UBC Okanagan offers free tours of our newest green building where participants can learn all about the innovative features of our most sustainable buildings.
Request a Tour of the Nechako Commons Block

Request a Tour of Skeena Residence


UBC Okanagan’s Green Buildings

Green Buildings: In Design

Artist’s rendering of the ICI Building

UBC Okanagan initiated the design of an Interdisciplinary Collaboration and Innovation building (ICI) in 2020. Targeting LEED® Gold certification, this academic facility will be designed to foster interdisciplinary knowledge, support collaborative, team-based learning and innovative approaches to teaching.

About LEED® Certification

 

Green Buildings: 2018 – Present

Nechako Student Residence and Commons Block is targeting LEED® Gold​ Certification. Completed in 2021, this mixed-use ‘hub’ combines 220-student resident housing units with 24-hour services and amenities and a 450-seat dining hall. Social shared spaces integrated into the building’s design will offer students with many opportunities for social engagement. The facility is also the most recent facility to be connected to the campus’ district energy system, which provides low carbon energy supply.

About LEED® Certification

Request a Tour

 

The Skeena Residence is on track to become the first Passive House Certified dormitory in Canada. Completed in 2020, the Skeena Residence provides 220 student resident units, including lounges, informal study spaces, activity room and laundry facilities. The project is targeting Passive House (Classic) certification, an internationally recognized energy standard characterized by a highly efficient building envelope and heat recovery ventilation system. Early certification steps undertaken in 2021 included an air tightness test (AHC), recorded as 0.08, exceeding the target of 0.6 AHC required for certification.

About Passive House Certification | Read Case Study: Skeen Residence

Request a Tour

 

The Commons Building is targeting LEED® Gold Certification. Completed in 2018, the Commons library expansion provides students with additional 6,596 m2 of study, learning and collaborative space while using no natural gas for environmental comfort. Its HVAC system was integrated into the campus’ low temperature low temperature district energy system (LDES), which is used to heat and cool the building, reducing the campus’ reliance on traditional fuel sources.

About LEED® Certification

 

Green Buildings: Prior to 2018

Completed in 2014, the Engineering, Management, Education (EME) building was awarded LEED® Gold certification and is the Okanagan campus’ largest building offering 16,520 m2 to accommodate classrooms, laboratories, offices, collegiums and food services. Over the last three years, the building’s natural gas consumption has averaged 427 GJ per year due to its connection to the campus’ District Energy System; an average home in Canada consumes 88.4 GJ per year[1].

About LEED® Certification

Awarded LEED® Gold certification in 2013, the Reichwald Health Sciences Centre (RHS) is a 5,201 m2 multi-use facility that contains two large lecture theatres, laboratories and offices. RHS is also home to the Southern Medical Program’s faculty, staff and students.

About LEED® Certification

The 6,208 m2 residence is connected to its own closed loop geo-exchange heating and cooling system, utilizes solar panels to pre-heat the domestic water and is home to the Sustainable Leadership Living Learning Community.

Five Green Globes certification was awarded to the Arts & Sciences Centre (ASC) in 2010. This achievement made the ASC and the Charles E. Fipke Centre for Innovative Research the first paired facilities to be certified in Canada. Offering 7,802 m2 of mixed-use space, ASC provides a large lecture hall, laboratories and office space as well as a food service location to the campus community.

About Green Globes Certification

In 2007, the Charles E. Fipke Centre for Innovative Research (Fipke) achieved Five Green Globes certification, the equivalent to LEED ® Platinum. As the first building to be connected to the campus’ District Energy System, this 6,725 m2 mixed-use facility has reduced its natural gas consumption by 91% from 2013 to 2020.

About LEED® Certification

 


Existing Buildings

Implementation of UBC Okanagan’s Whole Systems Implementation Plan, key energy and carbon management plans, including the Strategic Energy Management Plan (SEMP) and Low Carbon Energy Strategy, along with the continued implementation of projects to optimize building and energy supply systems, reduce the impacts associated with campus legacy buildings.

 

Energy and Carbon Management Plans

Strategic Energy Management Plan (SEMP) | The SEMP provides a suite of demand side management projects to reduce energy consumption and associated emissions.

Low Carbon Energy Strategy| The strategy guides future low carbon district energy system development and investments.