UBC Renew

UBC Renew preserved the Chemistry Centre's architectural features while giving it a modern upgrade.

UBC Renew is a program that renovates, rather than demolishes, eligible aging buildings at UBC, and makes them more sustainable. We’re the only Canadian university creating state-of-the-art facilities while preserving our heritage buildings.

The program minimizes the financial and environmental impacts of demolition and new construction significantly. It also maintains the spectacular buildings that give our campus its character and sense of history, extending their lives by 40 years or more.

UBC Renew Achievements

Eleven buildings have been renovated to date through UBC Renew. Visit the Project Services website for a full list of projects.

In Phase 1, UBC Renew:

  • Avoided $89 million in new construction costs
  • Diverted 1,458 tonnes of construction waste from the landfill
  • Saved 97 million mega joules (MJ) of primary energy
  • Saved 27 million litres of water
  • Saved 3.2 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity
  • Prevented 6,150 tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
  • Eliminated $77.4 million from UBC’s accumulated deferred maintenance debt

UBC Renew Phase 2 Achievements:

  • Renewal of the Biological Sciences West & South Wings was completed in March of 2011, to facilitate world-class research and teaching. The renovation cost approximately $64 million, and both wings have applied for LEED Gold certification. In 2012, the building was awarded the prestigious Canadian Green Building Award.

Highlight Buildings

The Friedman Building, originally built in 1961, was the first LEED Gold building renovation in Canada. It is now a state-of-the-art facility that houses the Department of Physical Therapy and the School of Audiology and Speech Sciences.

The UBC Chemistry Centre, the oldest building on campus and the centrepiece of our chemistry complex, is the most significant building to be revitalized under UBC Renew. The 1923 building’s distinctive architectural details were intact prior to the revitalization, but it was in desperate need of life safety upgrades, and could no longer support today’s chemistry research. The centre now houses high-tech research labs and lecture theatres that co-exist seamlessly with the building’s architectural features. Read the Chemistry Centre Case Study to learn more.