Groundbreaking ‘tanked’ parkade to deepen UBCO’s roots in downtown Kelowna

People and Places | Strategy 2: Inspiring Spaces
Theme: Innovation

UBC Okanagan is redefining urban infrastructure and sustainable construction practices in Kelowna with the construction of a state-of-the-art underground parking garage for UBCO Downtown. This four-storey, below-grade parkade—built to serve the facility and reduce parking impacts in the area—will set a record as the deepest parkade in the Kelowna area.

It employs an innovative ‘tanked’ design that will use a special waterproof concrete mix to accommodate the city’s high water table. Unlike conventional construction where water accumulation around the foundation is drained or pumped away—potentially carrying away vital sediments and destabilizing surrounding soils—the tanked design keeps the water and soils in place, ensuring hydrostatic pressure balance.

In line with UBCO’s commitment to sustainability, the fill extracted during the parkade’s construction will be transported to the main campus, providing necessary and high-quality material for slope stabilization and aiding in the area’s future utilization—all while minimizing waste generation and saving on future trucking emissions.

“This move exemplifies our dedication to minimizing waste and optimizing resources during the construction process,” says Rob Einarson, Associate Vice-President for Finance and Operations at UBC Okanagan. “It’s a testament to our commitment to sustainability and our responsibility as a steward of the environment.”

“UBCO Downtown is set to become a premier location for vital and community-driven health programs such as nursing, social work, and health and exercise sciences,” says Dr. Lesley Cormack, Principal and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of UBC’s Okanagan campus. “This expansion will create a cutting-edge hub for education, research and training, addressing the increasing demand for healthcare professionals in the local and provincial communities, involving up to 1,000 students from various disciplines in the downtown core.”

Visit the UBC Okanagan News site to learn more.

Through Strategy 2: Inspiring Spaces, UBC is working to establish dedicated, accessible and inspiring spaces, indoor and outdoor, that provide forums for interdisciplinary interaction and that showcase the impact of our work more broadly.