UBC Water Supply Centre now running campus water supply

The aging water pump station located in the Power House is now disconnected from the University Boulevard transmission main, and the new UBC Water Supply Centre is fully running the campus water distribution.

The construction of the new Water Supply Centre houses UBC’s critical piece of campus infrastructure — the pump station, serving the campus demand for domestic cold water and operating water pumps that would increase water pressure to provide water for academic and administrative buildings, and firefighting. The decommissioning of the Power House will improve seismic resilience of the campus, new pumps will ensure the buildings within the high-pressure water distribution zone have adequate fire protection to support Vancouver Fire Rescue Services, and the site will become available for development of the planned Sauder School of Business expansion.

The Power House was built in 1924, serving the UBC Vancouver campus with a safe and reliable water supply for decades. In 2017, The Seismic Resilience Plan identified the current location of the pump station within the Power House as a “significant vulnerability to the water supply” because the Power House was found to be at high risk of collapse during a seismic event. The report concluded, “decommissioning the Power House and relocating the water pumps to a new location is a primary recommendation”. The new Water Supply Centre will improve the seismic resilience of the campus by removing the critical risk that the water distributions system would not be functional due to the collapse of the current Power House.

The new Water Supply Centre is located on the North corner of University Boulevard and Education Road on the UBC Point Grey campus. The building was designed to incorporate architecture that is both true to form, celebrates the process it was designed for and serves to elevate the evolving campus as a ‘Living Lab’. As part of an industrial architectural prototype language, the building becomes a quiet piece of civic architecture in a public space.

If you’re on the Vancouver campus, take a stroll over to the new Water Supply Centre and learn more about this critical piece of UBC infrastructure by reading along the window decals wrapped around the building.


For more information regarding the new Water Supply Centre project, visit the project portfolio page.

For more information regarding UBC’s water distribution, visit the Energy & Water Services website.

To learn more on the flow of water and how the VP Finance & Operations (VPFO) portfolio safeguards UBC’s critical supply of water, visit the VPFO website.