UBC Okanagan’s campus will continue its impressive growth in student residences thanks to a $70-million investment in two new student housing projects. Although the campus currently has space to house 1,680 students – meaning one guaranteed space for every first-year student – the university ultimately endeavours to provide on-campus housing to 25 per cent of the student population.
A total of 440 new beds in two residence buildings – named the Skeena and Nechako Residences – will be added to UBCO’s campus housing inventory. According to Rob Einarson, associate vice president, finance and operations, the new beds will not only answer the call for additional rental accommodation in Kelowna’s challenging market, but the two new buildings will also be sustainable: Nechako will be LEED Gold certified, while Skeena is being designed to the relatively new Passivehaus standard developed in Germany. Einarson adds that investments like this have allowed UBCO to reduce greenhouse gas emissions per student by 22 per cent since 2013, despite tremendous campus growth.
The residences represent UBCO’s commitment to Strategy 3: Thriving Communities in its strategic plan, which supports the ongoing development of sustainable, healthy and connected campuses and communities. Key to this strategy is the incorporation of ecologically-sensitive design in new buildings and open spaces, which promote sustainability and well-being.
To learn more about these two new, highly efficient residence buildings, visit UBC Okanagan News.