Capital priorities

Capital priorities overview

UBC maintains a comprehensive plan for the development and renewal of institutional infrastructure to meet evolving academic needs as well as the needs of our growing campus communities. Some of the recent priority capital projects for the UBC Vancouver campus include: the Orchard Commons mixed-use student housing facility, which is the home for the UBC Vantage College; expansion of the Brimacombe/Advanced Materials & Process Engineering Laboratory building for the the Quantum Matter Institute; renewal and expansion of undergraduate Chemistry and Life Sciences teaching laboratories; the B.C. Integrated Research Library, a high density storage facility to house 1.7 million volumes from all B.C. research universities; and  a new Aquatic Centre which provides student athletes with a state-of-the-art training and competition facility, and the larger campus community (students, faculty, staff and residents) with an on-campus recreational facility.

Our UBC Okanagan campus has just completed the final stages of a major capital expansion. Future projects for this campus include an expansion of the existing Library and development of new student residences, both intended to meet the needs of a rapidly growing campus population. A complete list of planned projects for UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan is provided in this website. This list continues to be refined as our Capital Plan evolves, projects are completed and new projects advanced.

UBC Five-Year Capital Plan 2020-21 to 2025-26

To provide high-level understanding of public post-secondary institutional capital requirements and to develop priorities for future consideration, the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training (AEST) annually requests Five-Year Capital Plan submissions. The Five-Year Capital Plan provides AEST with an understanding of UBC’s capital requirements for new priority expansion projects, replacement/renewal projects and capital innovation projects.

UBC has developed a jointly funded Capital Plan which addresses core academic needs, aligns with Provincial priorities and was developed in accordance with the University’s established Capital Planning Principles. The proposed projects were selected by the UBC Executive based on their potential to contribute to the University’s strategic priorities, operational performance and risk mitigation priorities. These projects were prioritized from a longer list of Academic Facilities projects identified through on-going consultation with Faculties and Departments.

The proposed projects were evaluated and prioritized using an assessment model that considered how each project contributes to the University’s strategic objectives and operational performance & risk mitigation objectives.  The prioritization criteria were as follows:

1. University Strategic Priorities

  • Support for Academic Renewal – 10% (New for 2020)
  • People & Places – 15% weighting
  • Research Excellence – 30%
  • Transformative Learning – 30%
  • Local & Global Engagement – 15%

2. Operational Performance and Risk Mitigation

  • Health & Safety (e.g. seismic risk) – 25%
  • Performance & Reliability (e.g. deferred maintenance) – 25%
  • Legal / Regulatory / Reputation – 25%
  • Business Case – 25%

The criteria weighting under the Strategic Priorities areas has been changed since 2019, reflecting feedback from the  UBC  community  through  the  course  of  consultation.  Greater weighting  has  been  assigned  to  research  excellence and transformative learning, and support for Academic Renewal (the President’s Academic Excellence Initiative) has  been  added.    Final  selection  of  recommended  projects  for  the  Five-Year  Capital  Plan  included consideration of additional factors such as alignment with government priorities, funding potential, current state of project development, and other strategic considerations.

Input on the capital planning process and capital priorities was sought and received from the following groups:

  • Committee of Deans and Deans’ Council (Vancouver and Okanagan, respectively)
  • Property & Planning Advisory Committee
  • Senate Academic Building Needs Committee
  • Vancouver Subcommittee of the Council of Senates Budget Committee
  • Alma Mater Society, UBC Students’ Union Okanagan (pending)
  • Graduate Student Society
  • Alumni Association
  • Building Operations and Energy & Water Services, UBC Okanagan Campus Operations
  • UBC Properties Trust (for information)

The proposed UBC Five-Year Capital Plan includes priority academic projects totalling $1,559 million with a request to the Provincial Government for $761.5 million in funding.  Demolitions or renovations associated with the new construction  would  reduce  UBC’s  deferred  maintenance  by  $217 million  and  improve seismic  ratings  on  specific  buildings. The  approved  Five-Year  Capital  Plan  will  be  submitted  to  the  Ministry  of  Advanced  Education,  Skills  &  Training when requested, likely in July 2020.

UBC Five-Year Capital Plan: Priority Academic Projects

The  UBC  Five-Year  Capital  Plan  includes  strategic  academic  projects  which  support  UBC  priorities  and  focus  on  transformative  learning  and  research  excellence.    The proposed  projects  are  intended  to  align  with  Provincial  government priorities, in particular health, economic development and facility asset renewal.  These projects are shown in the context of UBC’s current list of Facilities Priorities (Academic, Student Experience, Campus Operations) which is presented at the April and September Board meetings in the Capital Projects Update report.

As careful prioritization of proposed capital projects is critical to ensure that limited capital is directed to help UBC achieve  its  goals,  these  projects  have  been  ranked  to  align  with  UBC’s strategic and operational objectives.

The projects proposed are shown in the following table:

UBC Five-Year Capital Plan 2021-22 to 2025-26

ProjectCostFundingReduced Deferred Maintenance

School of Biomedical Engineering Building

Campus: Vancouver

Delivery1: December 2024

$ 136 million

Province (request to AEST): $ 50.0 million

Fundraising: $ 8.0 million

UBC: $ 78.0 million


Gateway Building (Nursing, Kinesiology, UBC Health, Integrated Student Health Services)

Campus: Vancouver

Delivery1: September 2024

$ 179 million

Province (request to AEST): $ 89.5million

UBC: $ 89.5 million

$ 46.0 million

Chemistry Laboratory Complex

Campus: Vancouver

Delivery1: TBD

$ 224 million

Province (request to AEST): $ 112.0 million

UBC: $ 112.0 million

$ 88.0 million

Interdisciplinary Collaboration & Innovation Building (ICI)

Campus: Okanagan

Delivery1: September 2024

$ 109.0 million

Province (request to AEST): $ 54.5 million

Fundraising: $ 10.0 million

UBC: $ 44.5 million


Mathematics Building

Campus: Vancouver

Delivery1: TBD

$ 118 million

Province (request to AEST): $ 59.0 million

Fundraising: $10.0 million

UBC: $ 49.0 million

$ 38 million

Medicine One (new for 2020)

Campus: Vancouver

Delivery1: TBD

$ 350 million

Province (request to AEST): $ 175.0 million

UBC: $ 175.0 million


Applied One (new for 2020)

Campus: Vancouver

Delivery1: TBD

$ 222.0 million

Province (request to AEST): $ 111.0 million

UBC: $ 111.0 million

$ 20.0 million

Arts at Armoury Commons (new for 2020)

Campus: Vancouver

Delivery1: TBD

$ 80.0 million

Province (request to AEST): $ 40.0 million

UBC: $ 40.0 million

$ 6.0 million

Dentistry Expansion (new for 2020)

Campus: Vancouver

Delivery1: TBD

$ 65.0 million

Province (request to AEST): $ 32.5 million

UBC: $ 32.5 million

$ 19.0 million

UBC Downtown Kelowna (new for 2020)

Campus: Okanagan

Delivery1: TBD

$ 76.0 million

Province (request to AEST): $ 38.0 million

UBC: $ 38.0 million



$ 1,559.0 million

Request to AEST: $761.5 million

$ 217.0 million

1: These target completion dates assume project funding approval by March 31, 2021.

Vancouver Campus Proposed Projects

Okanagan Campus Proposed Projects