UBC planning $315 million facility expansion of medical research and nursing schools

22 March 2021

Another wave of major construction is planned for the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) Point Grey campus, with the key projects creating new health sciences facilities located at the main gateway into the campus.

Demolition work on the D.H. Copp Building at 2146 Health Sciences Mall, located mid-block on the south side of University Boulevard between Wesbrook Mall and East Mall, just west of the David Strangway Building and next to the bus stops for the trolleys, is set to begin this spring.

The aging building, now reaching nearly 60 years old, permanently closed last year to prepare the site for the new School of Biomedical Engineering Building (SBME), which is a partnership between the Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Applied Science.

The new flagship replacement building currently carries an estimated construction cost of $136 million, complete with a 250-seat lecture theatre, classrooms, laboratories, office space, and meeting, informal learning, and student community spaces.

A preliminary artistic rendering suggests this will be a four-storey building, with its interior spaces configured around a central atrium. Extensive wood materials will be used, and the university has noted this will be a LEED Gold green building.

The total floor area exceeds 151,000 sq. ft., which is more than three times the size of the existing temporary SBME within the nearby Biomedical Research Centre (BRC). The existing facility, recently renovated, does not serve current and future needs, lacks classrooms, and mainly houses administration, some core research facilities, and a small venture incubation hub.

A larger facility will provide the capacity for program growth over the next five years to accommodate 500 undergraduate and 220 graduate students, all the while creating a centralized hub for human health research, teaching, and entrepreneurship. A coordinated “hub and spoke” model of education, research, and innovation programs will eventually be achieved, considering the close proximity of other health sciences facilities and UBC Hospital.

“The school’s vision is focused on building health from biology through a robust pipeline of efforts across scales from engineering the molecular structures to implementing novel community based healthcare solutions,” reads the project description.

“The SBME faculty will conduct research that advances our fundamental understanding of human biology and that yields technologies and therapies that advance health and well-being.”

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Source: The Daily Hive

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