UBC Biological Sciences Complex obtains LEED Gold status

Acton Ostry Architects have announced that the Biological Sciences Complex renewal at the University of British Columbia has received LEED Gold certification from the Canada Green Building Council (CAGBC). The $45-million, 172,000-square-foot recent renewal project has extended the life of the buildings and provided an efficient flexible, state-of-the art research facility for the Departments of Botany and Zoology. 

“Acton Ostry transformed a bland, outdated and ineffectual academic building into an exciting and vibrant research environment. The overall aesthetic is both functional and visually appealing,” stated Jeff Richards, Associate Professor, Department of Zoology.

By upgrading the building systems, partitions and finishes, the life of the West and South Wings has been extended by at least 40 years. Illuminated glass panels on the seismic buttresses are laminated with botanical and zoological patterning, visually referencing the building’s use and animating the pedestrian walkway along the Main Mall of the campus.

“In addition to its visual appeal, the technical aspects of the research space are outstanding, from lab benches and support rooms to lighting, temperature control systems and furnishings. It is a pleasure to occupy our new space. Botany faculty, students, and staff look forward to many years of productive work in the pleasing environment of the renewed space,“ stated Carl J. Douglas, Professor, Department of Botany.

The LEED Gold complex incorporates a partial building envelope upgrade; new thermally broken double glazing; highly efficient lighting, heating and cooling systems; heat recovery; high-efficiency pumps and reduced water consumption. The addition of a bioswale located between the West Wing and Main Mall mitigate stormwater runoff and provide an educational landscape. The new complex’s HVAC system also exceeds the necessary air changes from the standard of 10 to eight air changes per hour with cross-lab air delivery that provides significant energy savings.