This major renewal project is home to the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and an important component of the university’s Engineering Precinct. The project is the most comprehensive renewal at UBC to date and includes replacement of the existing envelope, interior layout and finishes, mechanical and electrical systems, and significant upgrades to the structure in alignment with UBC’s priorities for seismic resilience.
The design is geared toward actively supporting ECE and the Faculty of Applied Science’s research, collaboration, and pedagogical priorities, while maintaining a dynamic yet respectful public expression befitting the building’s place on the Main Mall. The project will be certified LEED Gold, with energy targets commensurate with new-build lab buildings. Low-energy and low carbon targets are met through a combination of an innovative DOAS mechanical system, a high efficiency building envelope, and solar shading.
The project houses a variety of teaching spaces, including various configurations of teaching labs and a variety of classrooms serving both ECE and UBC’s wider Learning Spaces pool. Active learning classrooms (ALCs), makerspaces and meeting spaces support ECE’s Capstone programs, industry collaboration and student design teams. Learning begins from the moment of arrival and occurs throughout the facility. The building also houses research offices and labs for several research clusters, various administrative and support offices, as well as major faculty workshop spaces.
A key design driver was to place the facility’s activities on display—prioritizing transparency and animation, and maximizing opportunities for social and academic interaction by providing a variety of informal study spaces.