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Fall/Winter 2008


Fipke Centre a first for UBC Okanagan

Sustainable, from the ground up — UBC Okanagan campus a Canadian leader in sustainability

Working with water

Destination Okanagan — students from outside B.C. boost enrolment

Southern Medical Program: more doctors for B.C.

Helping UBC Okanagan grow

Students on sustainability

Students raise the bar

Food services: going green

To and from campus


fountainSustainable, from the ground up – UBC Okanagan campus a Canadian leader in sustainability
UBC Okanagan has something most universities don't have: a chance to build sustainability into everything, from the ground up. Currently in the midst of a massive $350-million construction program, UBC Okanagan is tripling its building floor space from 46,400 sq. m. (0.5 million sq. ft.) in 2005, expanding to 139,000 sq. m. (1.5 million sq. ft.) in 2010. It's part of an ambitious campus master plan that, in addition to supporting rapid student population growth, has put sustainability front and centre.

"This is an extraordinary time for UBC Okanagan, and an extraordinary opportunity for us," says Aidan Kiernan, Associate Vice President of Operations. "We've been given a chance to build sustainable practices and technology into everything – something few, if any, university campuses in Canada have ever been able to do."
Kiernan says that thanks to innovative technology, diligent planning and a collective desire to think big, UBC Okanagan is emerging as a Canadian leader in campus sustainability.

“The entire UBC Okanagan community has contributed to the campus's vision of sustainability,” he says. "Our sustainable practices are embraced and implemented across our campus by students, staff and faculty, and are driven by a leadership commitment to environmental and social stewardship by our administrators and UBC’s Board of Governors."

From enhanced recycling and composting programs to state-of-the-art irrigation and energy systems that will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by thousands of tonnes every year, UBC Okanagan is well on the way toward its sustainability goal of achieving the lowest carbon dioxide emissions of any campus in Canada.

"In many cases, we’re doing this using technology that hasn’t been implemented anywhere else in Canada," says Kiernan. "The roads we walk on, the air we breathe in our buildings, the water we drink from campus fountains, the energy we use – all of it was designed to create a working sustainable environment that delivers the best possible resources and conditions for learning and research."

Construction of facilities at the forefront of sustainable practices continues at UBC Okanagan throughout the 2008/2009 academic year, with all new buildings being designed and built to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold standards – an accredited Green Building rating system that considers five important environmental factors: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality.

For more on sustainable buildings at UBC Okanagan, see
Fipke Centre a first for UBC Okanagan