University of British Columbia welcomes $68M investment in “green” infrastructure


In April 2009, research infrastructure and sustainability at the University of British Columbia received a major boost from the federal and provincial governments totaling nearly $68 million.

The Biological Sciences West and South buildings at UBC’s Vancouver campus will receive $65 million to renovate research facilities and classrooms originally built more than 50 years ago, while incorporating the latest sustainable features.

The Geoexchange System at UBC Okanagan, which uses groundwater from under the campus to heat and cool buildings, will receive $2.9 million to make the campus emissions-free by 2010.

In 2006, UBCO installed the first phase of a geoexchange system to provide heating and cooling needs for the campus’s new buildings. The new funding will expand the system campus-wide and convert all existing buildings currently using fossil fuel technology to harvest energy from the Great Okanagan Aquifer.

The initiative has already reduced UBCO’s CO2 emissions by 62 per cent and is expected to make the campus emissions-free by 2010 – the equivalent of taking 14,000 cars off the road over the next two decades – while saving an estimated $610,000 in energy costs each year.

“Our goal is to build the most sustainable university campus in North America, and being virtually emissions-free is a huge step toward achieving that goal,” says Doug Owram, Deputy Vice Chancellor at UBCO.

To view the Industry Canada/Province of BC announcement, click here


Posted November 2009