ICI at UBCO receives building permit

UBC Properties Trust (UBCPT) has received a building permit to develop an $87M Interdisciplinary Collaboration and Innovation (ICI) project on UBC Okanagan campus, the first new campus building since the 220-bed Nechako student housing residence completed in May 2021, and the first institutional building since the UBCO Centre for Teaching & Learning completed in 2018.

Located at the southeast corner of University Way and Alumni Avenue, the ICI building will be a 5-storey, 14,185.9 gross square metre building and will facilitate world-leading interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary academic activities. The vision of the ICI building integrates 5 overarching principles through design and experience: Indigeneity, Interdisciplinary and Community Engagement, Flexibility, Wellbeing, and Sustainability. 

Funded by UBCO’s capital reserves, the building will combine social and natural sciences, humanities including Indigenous programs, creative fields, and professional disciplines with programs centered around four topic areas: Climate & High Value Agriculture, Health, Data, and Social & Economic Regional Development. The building includes teaching spaces and labs with 100- and 200-seat lecture halls, maker spaces, research labs, support spaces, offices, as well as community engagement spaces such as a collegium and Indigenous and multipurpose gathering areas.

Architectural design, textures, and palette will reflect the natural landscape and Indigenous history surrounding UBCO campus, creating a warm and inviting community ambience designed for collaboration. The building will achieve LEED Gold standards and contain its own mini-plant, aligning with UBCO’s Whole Systems Infrastructure Plan to be a carbon-neutral campus by 2050. This will synchronously benefit the health and wellbeing of user groups and allow future and legacy buildings to connect to the district energy system for heating and cooling at UBCO.

“The UBCPT Kelowna team is excited for the approval to build UBCO’s first research facility since the neighboring EME building. After understanding the stakeholders’ goals for the facility, the project team has spent thousands of hours developing the design and I believe we’ve created something that could only exist at this campus, in this community. The building is inspired by the idea of being a light touch to the Earth with two piers at grade. Labs have been designed to facilitate collaboration more than the typical pedagogy, and social spaces exist at all corners on every floor to foster innovation and community building. We hope this facility will serve UBCO’s academic mission for decades to come, and it’s an honour to be invoked.”
— Craig Shirra, Director of Development, UBC Properties Trust Kelowna

The ICI building will be a welcome addition for UBCO’s academic programs and research, paving the way to a future of discovery and innovation.