This month, the first residents are moving into Evolve, the new 110-unit faculty and staff rental building in UBC’s Wesbrook Place neighbourhood. The building is targeting Passive House certification, a designation that indicates a building consumes up to 90 per cent less heating and cooling energy than conventional buildings.
The first of its kind on UBC’s Vancouver campus, Evolve aims to be one of the most energy-efficient multi-family residential buildings in Canada. It will provide an unprecedented opportunity to study the benefits and trade-offs of Passive House construction, and share the learnings for the public good.
“Evolve demonstrates UBC’s commitment to the vision of a net positive campus and provides affordable housing that has a reduced carbon footprint and promotes health and wellbeing for the occupants,” says Penny Martyn, green building manager at UBC Sustainability. “Research conducted on the building will be shared among the property development community to make future buildings more energy efficient.”
Michael White, associate vice president of UBC campus and community planning, said the lessons learned at UBC’s Evolve will be applicable at UBC and beyond. “Through SALA and C&CP we are aiming to contribute clear data to the broader development industry’s ability to realize affordable, low carbon, high performance residential buildings. As we plan the future of our campus, including building more housing for our community, the learnings from this project will support our Climate Action Plan goal to reach net zero emissions in our campus operations by 2035, as well as informing our work in developing climate plans for neighbourhoods,” says White. “The university recognizes the pressures of the local housing and rental market and is working hard to provide housing for faculty and staff in the Wesbrook community and other areas around campus. We understand the need for housing to support faculty and staff recruitment and retention. We also recognize UBC is, as a growing community, needs to be flexible in how we work together to help offset climate impacts.”
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Through Strategy 3: Thriving Communities, UBC is advancing sustainability and wellbeing through renewal and innovation in our learning environments, operations and infrastructure.