About Our Building

Opened in 2012, the Pharmaceutical Sciences building at UBC is a state-of-the-art learning and research facility. Measuring 246,000 square feet, it's an eye-catching addition to our campus, and has drawn attention and admiration from around the world—including 15 awards of excellence. Leading the way in sustainable construction, this forward-thinking structure was made possible by an $86.4-million investment from the Province of BC and the generous support of donors, including many of our alumni. 

Sustainably Designed. Widely Admired.

Designed by Montreal's Saucier + Perrotte Architectes with Vancouver’s Hughes Condon Marler, the Pharmaceutical Sciences facility is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certified. Mirroring the structure of a forest, the building's staircases connect the floors like organic branches, while the clever placement of atriums draw sunlight deep into the building's interior. It's a design that is both striking and functional—and its far-reaching sustainability ideals show that we're in it for the long haul.

With its LEED gold certification, the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences building addresses sustainability in several key areas, including transportation, energy and water usage, and construction material. The new building is well served by public transportation and is located within walking distance of numerous stops. It adds no new parking spaces and provides a number of convenient cyclist facilities for faculty and visitor use, such as bicycle storage and showers.

Two full-height atriums play a crucial role in channeling daylight to interior spaces, which offsets the need for artificial lighting. The atriums act as the building’s “lungs” in balancing temperature and ventilation year-round. An on-site filtration system captures and manages storm water runoff, meaning our building uses 20% less potable water in its operations despite the complex nature of our labs and research facilities. Using a combination of low-flow fixtures and usage sensors, the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences building is estimated to save 3,283,878 litres of water per year. That's 24,000 full bathtubs!

The building materials consist of over 17% recycled content (e.g. steel and flyash concrete, a byproduct of coal-fired electric generating plants), with more than 30% of its materials being harvested or manufactured within 800 km of the campus. During construction, 89% of waste was diverted from the landfill. Durable building assembly design and detailing ensures a long lifespan for the building and its components while simultaneously reducing maintenance costs. While the design and operation of the structure provides high levels of indoor environmental quality for occupants, our green housekeeping practices take it one step further, reducing occupants’ exposure to chemicals as well.

The Pharmaceutical Sciences building has garnered a number of awards, including the Wallpaper* Best Lab 2013, the Ontario Association of Architects Award Of Design Excellence 2013, the 2012 Canadian Architect Award of Excellence, and the ACEC 2013 Award for Engineering Excellence.

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