UBC delivers newly renovated & renewed life sciences learning space

SOURCE: Diamond Schmitt
The new facility will provide state-of-the-art modern learning spaces for students.

By U2B Staff 

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The University of British Columbia (UBC) has recently opened a multi-million dollar life sciences teaching and learning facility to accommodate more students in a modern classroom setting that encourages collaboration and hands-on learning. 

The Undergraduate Life Sciences Teaching Laboratories officially opened last Friday and revealed well-equipped and spacious learning laboratories, modern classrooms and study areas which will replace older facilities that have been around for over 70 years. 

The new facility which was delivered by Diamon Schmitt Architects will enable undergraduate students to pursue careers in the life sciences including genetics, healthcare, conservation, ecology, and more. 


The facility was constructed as a result of a CA$91-million multi-year overhaul project that was made possible through joint federal-provincial funding from the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund.  

The project received CA$32.5million from the Government of Canada, CA$11.8 million from the Government of British Columbia, and CA$47.1 million from UBC. 

The opening of the new facility was attended by the Minister of Digital Government Joyce Murray, British Columbia’s Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology Bruce Ralston, Member of the Legislative Assembly for Vancouver-Point Grey, David Eby, and UBC president and vice-chancellor, Santa J. Ono. 

“This unique partnership between the Government of Canada, the Province of BC and the University of British Columbia will further enable UBC to attract leading life sciences researchers and ensure our students are inspired to innovate and discover in exceptional learning facilities,” said Ono in a media statement.

life sciences
Decades-old structures were demolished to revitalise this modern learning space. Source: Diamond Schmitt.

The project involved the demolition, renovation and expansion of decades-old teaching spaces in the Biological Sciences Centre and North Wings, and Wesbrook and DH Copp buildings at UBC.  

All life and biological sciences teaching labs on campus were consolidated into one space, including botany, zoology, microbiology and immunology, the physiological sciences, biochemistry, and molecular biology. 

The space will serve both faculty and over 2,600 students enrolled in UBC’s life sciences courses. 

The construction project involved 5,490 square-metres of renovation, 5,348 square-metres of renewal and added 9,069 square-metres to the site. 

It also improved the environmental performance of the facility by adhering to the CleanBC standards for better and more sustainable buildings. The project is also targetting a LEED Gold standard certification. 


Investments such as this through the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund are being used to modernise and improve environmental sustainabilities of facilities at Canadian universities and colleges. 

The new facility is expected to support programmes that will, directly and indirectly, contribute to a cleaner and more sustainable British Columbia. 

Students who pursue life science courses will make use of these facilities to develop their skills and knowledge to eventually work on projects that will reduce pollution and environmental degradation.