Canadian Consulting Engineer

Biological Sciences Complex renovated at UBC

The south and west wings of the Biological Sciences Complex at the University of British Columbia had a grand re-opening in late August following a $45-million renovation.

September 12, 2011   Canadian Consulting Engineer

The south and west wings of the Biological Sciences Complex at the University of British Columbia had a grand re-opening in late August following a $45-million renovation.

The 170,000-sq. ft. project included renovations to buildings dating from more than 50 years ago. Located at the southeast corner of the intersection of Main Mall and University Boulevard, the large complex consists of the original centre block from 1948, as well as south, west and north wings from the 1950s and 1970s.

The 170,000-square feet renovations have dramatically transformed the South and West wings. The design is to LEED Gold standard, and includes upgrades to the building envelope and new heating and cooling systems, including heat recovery and high efficiency pumps.

Three buttresses clad with illuminated glass panels were added to the exterior of the complex as part of the seismic upgrades. The panels are lit up at night with botanical and zoological images — a theme which is echoed on patterned glass inside.

Another feature is the installation of a prototype daylighting technology developed by the university and SunCentral that increases the depth sunshine can reach inside buildings.

Acton Ostry are the architects of the renovation project. The team includes consulting engineers Read Jones Christoffersen (structural and building envelope), MCW (mechanical and electrical), and Gage Babcock (building code).


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