Installing antimicrobial copper patches on high-touch surfaces in Applied Science buildings

People and Places | Strategy 3: Thriving Communities
Theme: Collaboration

The UBC Faculty of Applied Science has recently installed more than 400 copper patches in high-touch surfaces across nine department buildings. Funded through the Copper and Health program by Teck Resources, the project aims to use antimicrobial properties of copper to maintain a sanitized environment that reduces the spread of infection. The patches, self-sanitizing adhesive copper covers, are registered with Health Canada and the US Environmental Protection Agency and proven to continuously kill 99.9 per cent of bacteria on surfaces within two hours of contact. The installation took place in two phases – 80 patches installed in November 2021, followed by 365 more in February 2022.

The following buildings at the Vancouver campus are part of the pilot project:

  • Frank Forward Building
  • Chemical & Biological Engineering Building
  • Civil and Mechanical Engineering Building
  • Fred Kaiser Building
  • Frederic Lasserre Building
  • Pulp & Paper Centre
  • School of Nursing
  • The Rusty Hut
  • West Mall Annex (SCARP)

In addition to installing copper patches, Teck is also providing funding to Dr. Amanda Clifford, Assistant Professor at the Department of Materials Engineering, to research and develop advanced copper coating technology. These initiatives will advance the use of antimicrobial copper as an innovative approach against preventing infections in crowded public spaces such as UBC and in medical facilities.

Teck has installed antimicrobial copper covers at hospitals across BC, such as Vancouver General Hospital, Lions Gate Hospital, and Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital, and on transport vehicles for TransLink and the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC).

To read the full story, visit the UBC Applied Science website.

Through Strategy 3: Thriving Communities, UBC is committed to advancing wellbeing and sustainability through renewal and innovation in our learning environments, operations, and infrastructure.