UBC’s sustainable community development was recently honoured in San Francisco at the 47th Annual Gold Nugget Awards. UBC picked up three Grand Awards and seven Merit Awards in recognition of exceptional concepts in design, planning and development.

Since 1963, the Gold Nugget Awards have been paying tribute to builder/developer excellence and has gained a reputation as the “best in the west.” The competition is co-sponsored by Builder, a national magazine of the housing industry along with major building product manufacturers, financial institutions and builders, architects and associates in the real estate field. This year, the competition attracted almost 500 submissions from the 14 western states in the U.S. and international competitors.

The Grand Award for Best Community Site Plan – 20 Acres or More was given to two winners this year: UBC for Wesbrook Place and Martis Camp, a community of 2,177 acres in California.

Wesbrook Place’s design was recognized by the judges as a village that “combines the conveniences of an urban centre with the charm and intimacy of a small town village”. A 100-acre sustainable neighbourhood surrounded by forest, trails and beaches, Wesbrook Place features a mix of 2,300 rental and market housing units, five major parks and convenient community amenities.

Joe Stott, Director of Campus and Community Planning, is pleased that the neighbourhood received the award for the community site plan. “We worked very hard with a large group of stakeholders on that neighbourhood plan. It's great to see our collaborative process acknowledged by the industry.”

Wesbrook Place was also recognized with the Grand Award for Residential Community of the Year - Attached. In particular, the mixed-use building featuring apartments above a ground-floor grocery store was acknowledged for its innovative design which includes a unique waste heat recycling system. Residents heat their hot water using the energy created from the refrigeration units from Save-On-Foods. The judges acknowledged that with the addition of local amenities, “over 16,000 university residents are given the opportunity to shop and eat locally.” This addition encourages residents to stay on-site instead of driving or taking the bus off campus to buy their groceries, promoting sustainable alternatives to vehicles and, as a result, reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The Pacific residential development was awarded the Grand Award for Best Multi-Family Housing Project – 4 to 6 stories – For Sale. Design features highlighted include its West Coast Modern architecture capturing the ocean proximity, rooftop gardens and water features. Each unit is fitted with energy-efficient appliances and the project is REAP Gold certified. Judges praised it for its “mindful design made elegantly urban with sustainability baked into the DNA of the product, people and community.”

Stott noted that “this recognition by the industry helps showcase the university’s leadership as a pioneer in sustainable development and green building designs. UBC has a commitment to be a ‘living lab’ for sustainability.”


Merit Awards were presented to:

  1. Wesbrook Supermarket - Best Retail Project
  2. Wesbrook Supermarket & Granite Terrace (77 unit residential development) – Best Mixed Use Project
  3. Keenleyside (72 unit residential development) – International Project
  4. Wesbrook Place (UBC’s newest family housing neighbourhood) – International Project
  5. Pacific (91 unit residential development)  – International Project
  6. MBA House (81 unit graduate student residence) – Best Campus Housing Project
  7. Pacific (91 unit residential development) – Residential Community of the Year - Attached