Third UVic building achieves gold sustainability standard

Friday, August 20, 2010

The University of Victoria’s Social Sciences and Mathematics Building is the third campus facility to achieve the gold-level standard in environmental design and sustainability. This week the Canada Green Building Council officially recognized the building, opened in 2008, with gold-level certification in its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building program. UVic’s Medical Sciences and Engineering/Computer Science Buildings previously achieved LEED gold status.

“This building benefited from an integrated design process that emphasized sustainability in planning, construction and operations, and we are very pleased to be recognized with LEED gold certification,” says Neil Connelly, director of campus planning and sustainability. “UVic’s green building and renovation program is one part of the university’s broader commitment to sustainability.”

The Social Sciences and Mathematics Building provides 9,090 square metres of office, classroom and research lab space for the departments of geography, political science, mathematics and statistics, the School of Environmental Studies and the UVic/Environment Canada Water & Climate Impacts Research Centre (W-CIRC), as well as lecture theatre space and meeting rooms. It is located on a former parking lot.

The building’s two green roofs and several patio gardens help insulate and capture rain and moisture. Other sustainability features include energy efficient lighting, natural ventilation, facilities for cyclists including showers and lockers, and the use of treated wastewater in toilets and urinals. The lobby areas feature the first architectural application of pine-beetle damaged wood in British Columbia, while the courtyard contains the Ian Ross Memorial Garden, a living laboratory of native plants. A complete list of sustainability features is available at

UVic is also targeting LEED gold certification for its recently completed First Peoples House, and for the new South Tower student residence building, slated to open in January 2011. All new campus building and renovation projects incorporate sustainability initiatives, including efficient energy and water management measures, locally sourced materials, natural landscaping, storm water management systems and enhanced indoor air quality.