Over the next 20 years as UBC grows, the design, construction, and operation of buildings will have a significant impact on the sustainability of the campus and wellbeing of people who study, work, and live here. The Green Building Action Plan (GBAP) outlines a very ambitious vision for UBC with goals, targets, and actions to advance academic and residential buildings towards making net positive contributions to human and natural systems by 2035.

“Buildings live for quite a long time, and it’s important to design them right from the beginning” says Penny Martyn, Green Building Manager for Campus and Community Planning. 

The plan provides important guidance to ensure that the design and construction of new buildings, renovations, and retrofits achieve higher levels of performance, as UBC’s academic campus and neighbourhoods continue to grow and improve.

The plan is organized by eight interconnected component areas: energy, water, materials and resources, biodiversity, health and wellbeing, quality, climate adaptation, and place and experience. “This way gains in one component area can have huge co-benefits in other areas,” explains Martyn.

Ralph Wells, Community Energy Manager for Campus and Community Planning highlights that this “holistic approach, which covers a range of key sustainability objectives [and] brings together institutional and residential goals” is key to move UBC towards a net positive campus.


Wesbrook Neighbourhood | Photo Credit: Philip Bertogg

The vision and objectives behind the plan were informed by UBC students, faculty, and staff as well as green building experts. These groups contributed their ideas through a series of workshops and reviews of the plan over the past two years.

“The vision is for UBC buildings to be exemplary models for sustainable performance”, says John Madden, Director of Sustainability and Engineering. “The Green Building Action Plan will continue to allow UBC to forge a leadership role in sustainability where buildings across campus will be used as ‘living laboratories’ for applying new innovation and research to help catalyze broad market transformation.”

To learn more about Green Building Action Plan click here.