UBC Integrated Sustainability Process

Integrated design encourages whole systems thinking early in the design process, creates synergies across disciplines and components and is critical for the success of green buildings.

The UBC Integrated Sustainability Process was introduced in 2013 and updated in 2022 to ensure key design disciplines are brought together early in the design process to achieve a high level of sustainability performance in a streamlined manner.

Download UBC Integrated Sustainability Process Summary

Download UBC Integrated Sustainability Process Guide

Process Requirements

  1. All new building projects and major project renewals must follow the UBC Integrated Sustainability Process which supplements the Development Process and ensures the integration of sustainability and resiliency goals into the development process.
  2. Design Brief:
    1. Step 1A in this process is the development of a Project Design Brief. UBC stakeholder workshops are held to identify a guiding framework and each project’s goals and priorities, prior to the engagement of the design team. The goals include urban design guidelines and sustainability objectives and are in alignment with campus policy, plans and guidelines.
  3. Sustainability Workshops: UBC recommends three workshops with the design team and university stakeholders to fully explore and integrate the sustainability goals into the project design.
    1. Workshop 1 (Ideas) takes place during schematic design and provides early focus on site conditions, building massing and orientation, building materials, envelope attributes, sustainable energy and water systems, operational parameters and climate resiliency.
    2. Workshop 2 (Technical) investigates design strategies and synergies that will meet the goals confirmed in Workshop 1.
    3. Workshop 3 (Final) takes place during design development and uses interactive energy modeling to evaluate the trade-offs between energy performance, life cycle cost and system complexity.
  4. Development Permits for all projects: Prior to the issuance of the Development Permit, design objectives are evaluated in alignment with the Integrated Sustainability Process. 
    1. The Development Permit highlights the sustainability and resiliency requirements that must be met prior to issuance of the Building Permit.

Sustainable Building Materials Selection

UBC seeks to promote the selection of materials that:

  • Minimize embodied carbon
  • Minimize life cycle environmental and social impacts
  • Minimize the use or generation of harmful materials

To promote optimal material selection, UBC is committed to working towards transparency for all products used on campus. Project teams should choose building materials that have information on life cycle assessment and content, for example materials for which the manufacturer has developed Environmental Product Declarations and Health Product Declarations.

Project teams should demonstrate that building materials choice has been optimized as far as possible.