New buildings at UBC's Okanagan campus ready for students

The School of Engineering building (Engineering, Management and Education Complex) and the Purcell residence building both opened with return to classes this week, while the Health Sciences Centre will be ready for the first intake of 32 students in the Southern Medical Program early in the new year.

At 186,000 square feet, the $68-million engineering facility with a geothermal system also features a glass atrium for students, faculty and staff from all three programs to socialize, study, and interact. A green roof and low-flow fixtures will provide 40 per cent savings over conventional systems.

The Health Sciences Centre is a $31-million, 47,000-square-foot building that includes high-tech classrooms and lecture theatres, small-group teaching rooms, research and teaching laboratories, administration and faculty offices and linkages to campus infrastructure. The distance-learning technology includes a massive screen (14 metres across) that can display up to four video feeds at the same time.

Students have also moved into the new $14.9-million Purcell Residence, with 212 beds bringing the total number of beds on campus to 1,648 to meet the needs of out-of-town students. The Purcell features a green roof, solar heating panels, occupancy and window sensors and heat-recovery ventilators.

For more information, visit