Chemistry Laboratory Complex

Project Snapshot

Project Size: 274,910 gross sq feet / 25,540 gross sq metres
Budget: $286 million
Status: TBD
Reduced Deferred Maintenance: $96 million

Project Summary

Of the Chemistry Complex’s five older buildings, only two have been renewed. The remaining three buildings will be replaced under this proposed two-phase project which will mitigate $96 million in deferred maintenance.

Phase One: Chemical Sciences Undergraduate Teaching Building

The next generations of scientists, engineers and medical personnel must be trained in sophisticated, state-of-the-art techniques that relate to analytical chemistry, nanomaterials, new drug discovery, and industrial catalysis. Chemistry courses are a foundational requirement for every UBC Faculty of Science student, every first-year Faculty of Applied Science Engineering student, and for undergraduate programs in the Faculties of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Forestry, and Land & Food Systems. UBC delivers chemistry courses to more than 4,000 students each year, 40% of whom are from other departments or faculties.

Laboratory experiences are essential to learning, providing hands-on opportunities to explore practical problems and conduct research. The layout, age, condition, and infrastructure of the existing teaching laboratory facilities hamper growth in student numbers and programs, as well as innovative approaches to learning. UBC proposes to replace the existing two chemistry teaching wings with a new 14,177 gross square metres Chemical Sciences Undergraduate Teaching Building. The program includes updated and expanded laboratories for the teaching of general, synthetic and physical/analytical chemistry, as well as an exciting new space for interdisciplinary collaboration on capstone chemistry-based projects, a chemical sciences learning centre for students to work together in a highly supportive environment to learn chemical principles, Faculty of Science Co-op and Advising offices, and offices for instructors and technicians. The building will replace two aging lecture theatres in the Chemistry B block, as well as the large lecture theatre currently in Wesbrook, and introduce new active-learning classrooms for experiential learning.

Phase Two: Interdisciplinary Building for Research in Sustainable Chemistry

Innovations in Chemistry research are hampered by insufficient space and aging infrastructure in the Chemistry/Physics Building, the only research wing that has not yet been renewed.  Chemistry will play a central role in addressing many of the major challenges facing humanity and the planet, and research focused on climate change mitigation, alternative energy, and sustainability is core to the mission of the department moving forward.  UBC proposes to replace the Chemistry/Physics wing with a new state-of-the-art 11,360 gross square metres research building that will house modern laboratories, core facilities, and areas for collaboration.