Backgrounder: New Home for Social Sciences, Mathematics Opens At UVic

The new Social Sciences & Mathematics Building provides 9,090 square metres of office and classroom space for students and faculty in 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).

The building also features:
    • 4 tiered classrooms for campus-wide use
    • 4 lecture theatres
    • Social Sciences Co-op offices
    • Math Assistance Centre
    • E-learning systems group
    • UVic Graphics and Photographic Services
    • Faculty, graduate and staff offices
    • Research labs, meeting rooms and classrooms

The building is the third facility at the University of Victoria to be registered in the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating Program. It is expected to achieve LEED gold-level certification.

The integrated building design process emphasized sustainability in planning, construction and operations. The design provides a high efficiency building envelope, external overhangs on south-facing windows, trickle vents and operable windows. The lobby areas feature the first architectural application of pine-beetle damaged wood in British Columbia.

Sustainability Features
• Stormwater management approach using rainwater capture and on-site detention
• Multiple green roofs
• Building energy efficiency is 31 per cent higher than the Model National Building Code
• Natural ventilation systems
• Occupancy sensors in classrooms, hallways and lecture theatres
• Energy-efficient lighting
• Green Power investments to off-set building energy consumption
• Water-saving plumbing fixtures, such as low-flow toilets and sensor faucets
• Use of treated waste water for toilets and urinals
• On-site bike parking
• Shower and change facilities
• No new parking stalls provided: a 288-stall parking variance was obtained from the District of Saanich
• Close proximity to transit
• Use of locally sourced building materials (e.g. re-use of clay from site, re-use of BC pine-beetle damaged wood)
• Native plant landscaping – designed by the School of Environmental Studies
• Topsoil salvage for use in other campus landscaping projects
• Use of permeable paving for courtyard and access driveways
• Central recycling stations
• Oil and grease separators by loading zones
• Erosion and sediment control plans during construction
• Construction waste management plans (almost 85 per cent of waste diverted during construction)
• Biodegradable, phosphate-free cleaners and microfibre cleaning systems (part of the Campus Green Cleaning system)

For more information about UVic sustainability initiatives, visit

Media contacts

Peter Keller (Social Sciences) at 250-472-5058 or;

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Keywords: new, home, social, sciences, mathematics, opens, uvic

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