The University of British Columbia Okanagan is a campus of the University of British Columbia, located in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. The official name for the campus is simply UBC's Okanagan Campus, although it is frequently called 'UBCO'
The current campus for UBC Okanagan was originally used by Okanagan University College. That college was founded in 1989 as a part of a plan by the government to improve access to post-secondary education in Canada. Originally degrees were awarded in partnership with other universities, but by 1995, the university began granting degrees in its own name. Starting in the late 1990s, Okanagan University began lobbying efforts to gain full university status.
As of 2011 UBC's Okanagan campus has undergone a rapid CAD 450 million expansion. A new science building (The Charles E. Fipke Centre for Innovative Research), University Centre and Arts and Sciences buildings were completed. Engineering and management building and medical school buildings were completed in 2011. The second Arts and Science building includes a new live animal testing facility. In addition, there are various student residences in various stages of construction.
UBC’s Arts and Sciences building was part of a rapid campus expansion plan to accommodate 2,500 additional students by 2010. The 84,000 square feet, 5-storey building includes research labs, classrooms, office space and two lecture halls.
The concrete structure was built with an envelope of architectural precast wall panels, curtainwall glazing, and brick veneer. The facility features a geothermal system with in-slab radiant heating and heat recovery units to keep heating and cooling costs down. A Strobic Air system for the research labs and fumehoods help balance the supply and exhaust of air.
The project was designed by Vancouver-based Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning Ltd. in partnership with HMA Architects of Kelowna with construction managed by Stuart Olson Construction Ltd.
Securing trades has been a big issue in the Okanagan. UBC Properties tries to contract local trades whenever possible, but this was a challenge in the Okanagan given the number of major projects on the go in the valley.
Lockwood Bros. Concrete Products, Armstrong, BC was chosen to supply the architectural precast wall panels. Using a local precast concrete company solved the problem of securing local trade people.
Precast concrete is an architectural material with a unique combination of strength and versatility. In the hands of an imaginative designer and an expert precast fabricator, it can assume a rich variety of forms, textures, and colors, while performing an array of structural and decorative roles.
The Kasian Architecture chose a durable precast building material that reflected a clean progressive image for the learning facility. The architectural precast panels wrap the building in a contrasting grey precast concrete with a light sand blast finish that was a natural fit to enhance the look of the other building materials used on the project.
Green Globes Award Winner
In 2011 the UBC Okanagan Arts & Science Building received the distinction of Five Green Globes Award. By implementing truly innovative strategies for laboratory design, a building type that demands heavy energy loads, this project has received this honorable distinction.
The project features natural and displacement ventilation, passive design, a high performance facade, radiant heating and cooling and thermal mass. The building also connects to the campus district energy system.
The Green Globes program aims to guide environmental performance integration in building design. The Five Globe standing is awarded only to select projects that embody true leadership in energy and design practices offering a new model for sustainable strategies. This was the second project at the campus to receive this distinction; the Fipke Centre for Innovative Research at UBC Okanagan also received Five Green Globes. http://www.greenglobes.com/.