Originally published in Interiors & Sources

03/01/2014

Complex Update

The University of British Columbia finds new life in renovated buildings.

By Robert Nieminen

 
  • /Portals/3/images/magazine/2014/0314/I_0314_Web_Also_1.jpg

    A variety of bluish-hued glass panels printed with botanical and zoological images identify informal research spaces and reference the microscopic world of researchers.
    Photograph by Acton Ostry Architects View larger

  • /Portals/3/images/magazine/2014/0314/I_0314_Web_Also_1A.jpg

    A variety of bluish-hued glass panels printed with botanical and zoological images identify informal research spaces and reference the microscopic world of researchers.
    Photograph by Acton Ostry Architects View larger

  • /Portals/3/images/magazine/2014/0314/I_0314_Web_Also_2.jpg

    Birch storage components in the lab spaces echo the wood's appearance throughout the facility, including birch benches in the hallways and custom perforated ceiling panels by Geometrik. Bright, white acoustic ceilings enhance illumination, aided by slim vertical strips of floor-to-ceiling glazing.
    Photograph by Martin Tessler View larger

  • /Portals/3/images/magazine/2014/0314/I_0314_Web_Also_3.jpg

    This tiered classroom, built to accomodate larger lectures and gatherings, features Strive seating from KI, Tier tables from Versteel, and a three-panel sliding chalkboard by Shanahan's.
    Photograph by Martin Tessler View larger

  • /Portals/3/images/magazine/2014/0314/I_0314_Web_Also_4.jpg

    Birch storage components in the lab spaces echo the wood's appearance throughout the facility, including birch benches in the hallways and custom perforated ceiling panels by Geometrik. Bright, white acoustic ceilings enhance illumination, aided by slim vertical strips of floor-to-ceiling glazing.
    Photograph by Martin Tessler View larger

It’s no small feat to transform a series of 50-year-old buildings into models of sustainable design, but that was the task assigned to Vancouver-based Acton Ostry Architects (AOA) as it began an ambitious overhaul of the South and West Wings of the Biological Sciences Complex at the University of British Columbia.

“The university has a higher-level program called UBC Renew, which looks at existing buildings that can be renewed through adaptive reuse and renovation to extend their life by another 40-plus years, but also incorporate higher levels of sustainability into the systems,” recounted AOA Principal Mark Ostry.

The 170,000-square-foot, LEED Gold project included the renewal of spaces originally built in the 1960s, and now houses new state-of-the-art laboratories, aquaria, informal research spaces, classrooms, seminar rooms, and gathering spaces for the Departments of Botany and Zoology.

Because of the intense energy demands scientific laboratories place on facilities, including the need for constant air changes, Ostry says that meeting the LEED Gold benchmark was a significant challenge. Through modeling exercises, the design team was able to reduce the number of air changes needed while maintaining air quality and reducing heating requirements in the process, helping it to hit stringent targets for energy usage.

Another major goal of the project was to create a series of informal research lounges that would encourage the exchange of ideas and facilitate a feeling of community amongst students, faculty, and staff. “The objective was to essentially create a lab space that was far more flexible and adaptable,” said Ostry, adding that the final design helped facilitate cross-disciplinary interaction between the zoology and botany departments.

Integrated into each node are small kitchen facilities, tables, chairs, and whiteboards to facilitate interaction during lunch and coffee breaks. Adjacent to the informal research spaces are groupings of residentially inspired leather couches and coffee tables that offer cozy, comfortable environments for extended discussions and debates.

 


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Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.

Bluebeam® Revu® simplifies digital facilities document management from design review to leveraging as-builts, maintenance manuals and O&Ms submittals.

 


 
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