Construction Updates

The University continues to make significant investments in new and upgraded infrastructure to create great spaces for teaching, learning, research and the campus community. There is currently a high level of construction activity and every effort will be made to minimize impact.
Project status updated: April 20, 2020

1) Bioenergy facility expansion

This core infrastructure project involves the addition of 12 MW of boiler capacity to the existing Bioenergy Facility to allow the campus hot water heating system to keep up with projected increased demand over the coming years from academic and student residence buildings. The expanded use of biomass as an energy source will provide additional heat at a lower cost than natural gas and will help UBC to diversify its fuel mix, allowing more effective management of the fuel cost risk as well as to help reduce the University’s carbon tax through lowered GHG emissions. It will also help UBC to advance towards its Climate Action Plan 2020 target of 67% GHG emission reduction over 2007 levels and provide continued research opportunities for UBC faculty and students. The scope of work includes civil and structural modifications to the existing facility, removal of redundant equipment, significant mechanical and electrical upgrades, seismic modifications to reflect the altered layout of the building, addition of a significantly upgraded biofuel material handling system, and supply and installation of new boiler.


Project cost: $ 14.85 million

Projected completion: Late 2020

2) Pacific Residence

The Pacific Residence project, located adjacent to and infilling around the Walter Gage Residence, is currently scheduled to open in fall 2021 and will add one winter session and four year-round residential buildings (“houses”) with a total of 940 housing beds for upper-year students.  A new food outlet is also included in the program, serving both the growing residential and broader campus community. The development will allow for greater vibrancy and an improved public realm within this precinct, ultimately creating an enhanced living and learning environment for the entire Walter Gage population. With the removal of approximately 110 grade-level parking stalls and the addition of over 2,300 new beds in the precinct (Exchange Residence, Brock Commons Phase 2 and Pacific Residence), a parking analysis has been undertaken. As a result of this study, the Pacific Residence project will include approximately 185 below-grade parking stalls serving the new developments of Pacific Residence, Exchange Residence, Tall Wood and Brock Commons Phase 2 as well as short term guest parking. For more information, please visit UBC Student Residence – Vancouver


Project cost: $ 165.034 million

Projected completion: Phased occupancy starting Fall 2021 to Jan 20202

3) Acadia Modular Child Care

The proposal is for the addition of three (3) modular classrooms with outdoor playspace to provide nearly 100 child care space by August 2019 in Acadia Park. Read more here.


Project cost: 

Projected completion:

4) Counselling Services Temporary Extension

A new modular building is underway to re-locate counselling services currently offered in Lower Mall Research Station, to improve service and access for students. The modular building will provide a new space where booked counselling appointments will take place adjacent to ongoing services already provided in Brock Hall. The new building will be constructed of modules fabricated off-site to reduce the construction schedule, enabling provision of services earlier than conventional construction time. The temporary facility is a short-term space solution that will serve students until an Integrated Health Services facility is constructed. Once the short-term use for Counselling Services has ended, this modular building will become part of the inventory of swing space for UBC Vancouver campus, and can be relocated to any available location as required.


Project cost: 

Projected completion: December 2019

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

The proposed Gateway Building (official name to be determined) will co-locate the School of Nursing (Faculty of Applied Science), School of Kinesiology (Faculty of Education), Integrated Student Health Services (Office of the Vice-President, Students) and components of UBC Health together in a building that will facilitate inter-program interaction and synergies and contribute to students’ health and wellbeing and to the continued advancement and growth of the two Schools nationally and globally. The project will support teaching, learning, health promotion, inter-professional health education, community engagement, and research mandates in community health, active living, healthcare delivery, and health sciences. It will create opportunities for community engagement with students, staff, faculty and the broader UBC community through programming for health promotion and wellbeing (outreach). The project will also provide general teaching space that includes four large lecture theatres to help address UBC’s challenges with scheduling large classes. New high-fidelity simulation labs will be included in the School of Nursing teaching space. In addition, a Team-Based Primary Care Inter-professional Teaching Clinic Prototype is programmed. This clinic, coordinated by UBC Health, will serve an important function in collaborative health education, with the classrooms and research labs, in augmenting the project’s collaborative space by facilitating inter-professional clinical teaching. Students across the health disciplines will have the opportunity to function in inter-professional teams and will be better equipped to carry the requisite knowledge, skills, and values into their future practice of collaborative, inter-professional, team-based patient care. Finally, the new facility will accommodate faculty growth that will contribute to the Academic Renewal Program. The functional program includes space for 22 new faculty positions (17 Nursing and 5 Kinesiology) plus associated graduate students and support staff. The proposed new project will be located at the NW corner of University Boulevard and Wesbrook Mall. As the principal point of entry and historical arrival route to UBC, the building will play a critical role in creating an academic gateway experience and is an opportunity to express the university’s identity and values. The building will be a welcoming academic gateway to campus, and signify a world class university; it will be built to superior architectural, urban design, and sustainability standards with a focus on well-being. The building will support a positive and memorable arrival experience for pedestrians, cyclists, transit users and drivers, serving the anticipated high volume of both UBC and non-UBC visitors that will be generated by the building functions. Finally, at this important entry to campus, the building and adjacent public realm will express UBC’s commitment to our important relationship with the Musqueam people, on whose traditional, ancestral and unceded territory UBC Vancouver is situated.


Project cost: $ 179 million

Projected completion: Summer 2024

6) School of Biomedical Engineering Building

The School of Biomedical Engineering (SBME), a partnership between the Faculties of Medicine and Applied Science, is a new flagship entity at UBC, and a top strategic priority for the University and both Faculties. The vision of the School is to transform patient health and healthcare outcomes through unconstrained exploration of the best possible integrative solutions across engineering, medicine, and biology. The SBME faculty will conduct research that advances our fundamental understanding of human biology and that yields technologies and therapies that advance health and wellbeing. Students will learn to apply quantitative analyses and engineering design principles across biological scales and to develop innovative solutions that impact clinical practice and lead to innovation in the life sciences. The SBME, as the first comprehensive inter-faculty School of Biomedical Engineering in Canada, will play a central role in British Columbia’s and Canada’s leadership in biomedical entrepreneurship. Significant investments have been made in creating the SBME and many activities have started to ramp up, including hiring new faculty and staff, launching new academic programs and building new partnerships – these efforts are already testing current space limitations. In pursuing the SBME’s ambitious goals as outlined in its recently launched Strategic Plan, the School is proving its potential as a central hub for human health research, training and entrepreneurship on campus. To continue this rapid expansion and properly meet the demand and promise of the School, a dedicated building for research, education and innovation is absolutely necessary. The Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) has undergone recent renovations to accommodate near term faculty and staff hiring for the SBME, but it will reach capacity by July 2020 and is insufficient for delivering the SBME program and accommodating student needs. The SBME’s faculty hiring and provincial commitments for domestic undergraduate student enrolment make the case for a single, central space that fulfills the needs of the SBME hub-and-spoke model, brings key stakeholders together in closer proximity, and serves the substantive activities at our hospital partner sites. It will provide a nexus for infrastructure and equipment consolidation, and the coordinated delivery of education, research and innovation (clinical development and commercialization) programs. The proposed School of Biomedical Engineering building will support the expansion of the undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as research activities.  The functional program includes classrooms, teaching laboratories, research laboratories, office space, meeting space and informal learning/student community space.  The 14,056.8 GSM (151,305 GSF) facility is proposed to be located at the D.H. Cop Building site on University Boulevard. The SBME building will include innovative learning spaces, laboratories for transformative research, facilities for research support, and office space for new faculty, including 19 hired through the President's Academic Excellence Initiative (PAEI). The project will also include an additional 250 seat lecture theatre serving the campus need for general teaching space of this size.The Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) provides the SBME’s interim physical location, serving as an administrative home and providing space for 8 faculty - 4 existing plus 4 newly recruited. Self-funded renovations to the Biomedical Research Centre have been undertaken to improve its condition and space utilization necessary for the immediate new hires. However, the BRC has already outgrown the School’s faculty and research requirement. This facility also has no classrooms and is not able to accommodate current graduate student enrolment; nor the startup of the undergraduate program. At 4,530 gross square metres (48,760 gross square feet) the BRC currently houses the School’s administrative team, some core research facilities and a small venture incubation hub.  


Project cost: $ 136 Million

Projected completion: 2024

7) UBC Pump House Replacement

The new Pump Station will house an important piece of UBC’s campus infrastructure serving approximately 70% of the campus demand for domestic cold water, and operating water pumps that increase water pressure to aid fire fighting in the academic core. The construction of the Water Supply Centre would primarily support: Seismic Resilience: The new pump station will improve the seismic resilience of the campus by removing the critical risk that the water distributions system would not be functional due to the collapse of the current Power House. The Seismic Resilience Plan update report delivered to the Board of Governors in September 2017 identified the current location of the pump station within the Power House as a “significant vulnerability to the water supply” because the Power House was found to be at high risk of collapse during a seismic event. The report concluded, “decommissioning the Power House and relocating the water pumps to a new location is a primary recommendation”. Fire Protection Reliability: The new pump station will ensure that buildings within the high-pressure water distribution zone have adequate fire protection to support Vancouver Fire Rescue Services. Powerhouse Site Redevelopment: The new pump station will allow for decommissioning of the Power House, making the site available for development of the planned Sauder School of Business expansion. Deteriorating Power House Conditions: Power House building requires continued and increasing work to maintain safety and operation.


Project cost: $ 12 million

Projected completion: Spring 2021

8) Douglas T. Kenny Building (Psychology) Fourth Floor Renovation

UBC’s Department of Psychology, ranked first in Canada and tenth in the world by Times Higher Education in 2018, has reached this distinguished status from its primary home in the Douglas T. Kenny Building (the Kenny Building). Department members conduct leading research in a broad range of areas, including behavioural neuroscience, clinical, cognitive, developmental, health, quantitative, and social/personality psychology. The department expects to welcome five new faculty members in the near future, and needs to create lab space to support their research. The fourth floor of the Kenny Building was originally fitted out as a dedicated animal research facility. It was decommissioned in spring 2017, and the research relocated to newer, custom-built research spaces elsewhere on campus as part of the overall consolidation of animal research facilities. As a result, the approximately 15,600 sq.ft. fourth floor will be fully renovated to create research labs, similar to other labs in the building, that will accommodate the expansion of the department.


Project cost: $ 7.64 million

Projected completion: Summer 2020

9) Brock Commons Phase 2

Brock Commons Phase 2 is proposed to complete the third Commons at UBC Vancouver. Commons (formally called Hubs) are envisioned in Policy 17 of the UBC Vancouver Campus Plan as local mixed-use centres distributed around campus that accommodate significant student housing capacity, child care, plus academic and support services open to all faculty, students and staff. They function as neighbourhood ‘living rooms’ for the daytime community of the surrounding academic disciplines as well as for the students and other academics who reside there. Brock Phase 1, the 404-bed Tallwood House, was completed in summer 2017. The proposed Phase 2 design will provide a residence front desk serving all Brock Commons residents, and approximately 595 additional student residence beds, including beds for residence advisors, coordinators and a residence life manager. In keeping with the mixed-use commons model that has proven successful at Ponderosa Commons and Orchard Commons, a variety of proposed academic uses and student services are part of the project. These uses include office, consultation, administrative and research space for various Faculty of Arts units; legal clinic space for the Peter A. Allard School of Law; office and consultation space for various Vice-President Students (VPS) units; a centre for accommodated exams; a 150-seat plus an 80-seat general-use classroom; an Opinion Lab/DAE Call Centre, a dedicated Emeritus College; a collegium for first-year students; a food service facility; a multi-faith space; two child care centres; informal learning spaces; and end-of-trip facilities for cycling commuters. In addition, Brock Commons Phase 2 will include a collection of multi-use spaces that can accommodate mustering for the bi-annual graduation ceremonies in May and November; these spaces will be available as meeting and study space during the rest of the year. The VP Students functions in the building will be part of a comprehensive precinct plan for improved student service facilities spanning Brock Commons, Brock Hall, UBC Life, and a future student health services facility on the Gateway South site. The Arts Student Centre will be located within the Brock Commons precinct, at the northeast corner of Walter Gage Road and East Mall, and is being pursued as a separate project. Brock Commons will target LEED Gold certification as a minimum standard with specific energy use intensity targets set to ensure achievement of a high level of energy performance.


Project cost: $ 156.404 million

Projected completion: Phased occupancy starting May 2022 to Fall 2022

a) Public Realm

A series of landscape upgrade projects to improve walkways, street lighting, street furniture, wayfinding signage and storm drainage with an overall goal to create a safer, more attractive and pedestrian friendly campus. Project completion taking place over a 15 year phase, with project completed to date:

  • Agricultural Rd
  • BioSciences Rd
  • Buchanan Courtyards
  • Main Mall (North + Centre)
  • Medical Pathways
  • Memorial Rd
  • University Blvd (East Mall to Main Mall)
  • University Blvd (Main Mall to West Mall)
  • Geography Courtyard
  • University Centre Forecourt
  • Sustainability Street
  • Frank Forward Pathways
  • Dentistry Courtyard
  • Library Gardens


Project cost: $46.0 million

Projected completion: Phased over 15 years

Thank you for your patience during this period of intense construction.

If you have any questions regarding these projects please feel free to contact us at