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University Of British Columbia: The Latest Architecture and News

Winners of 2021 Solar Decathlon Design and Build Challenges Construct Houses for a Cleaner Future

The United States Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm announced the winners of the 2021 U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Decathlon, a competition that challenges architecture and engineering college students from around the world to design and construct high-performance buildings powered by renewable energy. 72 competing teams hailed from 12 countries and designed energy-efficient residential and commercial spaces, nine of which were constructed and presented in the Solar Decathlon Virtual Village on the National Mall, a first of its kind, in Washington, D.C.

2020 Build Challenge – Weber State University. Image Courtesy of Dept of Energy Solar Decathlon on Flickr2020 Build Challenge – Weber State University. Image Courtesy of Dept of Energy Solar Decathlon on Flickr2020 Build Challenge – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois. Image Courtesy of Dept of Energy Solar Decathlon on Flickr2020 Build Challenge – University of Nevada. Image Courtesy of Dept of Energy Solar Decathlon on Flickr+ 71

The University of British Columbia's Bacteria-Driven Solar Cell Can Produce Energy Under Cloudy Skies

Researchers at the University of British Columbia have unveiled details of their recently-designed “bacteria-powered solar cell” capable of converting light to energy, even in overcast conditions.

Hailed as a “cheap, sustainable” method of renewable energy extraction, the cell can generate a current stronger than any previously recorded from similar devices. Development of the cell opens new possibilities for typically-overcast regions such as British Columbia and Northern Europe, where the world's first solar panel road debuted in France.

Inside Vancouver's Brock Commons, the World's Tallest Mass Timber Building

“Plyscraper,” “woodscraper,” call it what you will, but the timber age is upon us. Brock Commons Tallwood House, the recently completed student residence building at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, now occupies a prominent position within architecture: the tallest building with a timber structure in the world.

Courtesy of naturallywood.comCourtesy of naturallywood.comCourtesy of naturallywood.comCourtesy of naturallywood.com+ 15

Construction of the World's Tallest Timber Tower is Underway in Vancouver

Construction is underway in Vancouver for the world’s tallest timber tower by Acton Ostry Architects. The 18-story Brock Commons Student Residence at the University of British Columbia, which began construction in November 2015, will be completed in the summer of 2017. At 53 meters tall, with housing for 404 students, it will be the tallest mass wood hybrid building in the world. The structure’s two freestanding concrete cores will be completed by the end of May, after which, the erection of the mass wood structure will take place.

Courtesy of Acton Ostry Architects Inc. & University of British ColumbiaCourtesy of Acton Ostry Architects Inc. & University of British ColumbiaCourtesy of Acton Ostry Architects Inc. & University of British ColumbiaCourtesy of Acton Ostry Architects Inc. & University of British Columbia+ 17

Cornelia Hahn Oberlander Wins 2015 Margolese National Design for Living Prize

Landscape architect Cornelia Hahn Oberlander has won the 2015 Margolese National Design for Living Prize for her impact on Canadian cities. The School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at the University of British Columbia, who awards the annual $50,000 prize, chose Oberlander for her "breathtaking, poetic, unforgettable, charged with meaning, and above all, Modernist" designs that have made "outstanding contributions to the development or improvement of living environments for Canadians of all economic classes."

Winners Announced for Architecture for Humanity Vancouver’s “NEXT BIG ONE” Competition

Architecture for Humanity Vancouver Chapter has unveiled the winners of "NEXT BIG ONE," an open call for design solutions to high-magnitude earthquake and tsunami events that plague cities around the world. Project teams were challenged to propose a solution that "can mitigate natural disasters while simultaneously providing community permanence."

A jury comprised of leading architects and professionals from Architecture Research Office (Stephen Cassell), Perkins + Will (Susan Gushe), Bing Thom Architects (Eileen Keenan), Scott & Scott Architects (David Scott), and the City of Vancouver (Doug Smith) evaluated the projects. Entries were evaluated based on three key criteria: the exemplification of innovation in disaster design, promotion of community resiliency before and after disasters, and compliance with multi-hazard parameters for worst-case disaster scenarios.

Entry No. 626137 - Safety Arena. Image Courtesy of Architecture for Humanity Vancouver ChapterEntry No. 626514 - Revive the Moat. Image Courtesy of Architecture for Humanity Vancouver ChapterEntry No. 626139 - Modular Landscapes. Image Courtesy of Architecture for Humanity Vancouver ChapterEntry No. 626536 - Aqua Estate. Image Courtesy of Architecture for Humanity Vancouver Chapter+ 16

DjavadMowafaghian Centre for Brain Health / Stantec

Courtesy of Stantec
Courtesy of Stantec

Stantec’s design for the DjavafMowafaghian Centre for Brain Health at UBC, in Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada is envisioned as a translational research facility defined by present and future medical practices that collaborate under research and patient care. To achieve this, designers considered the intersections within the spatial dynamics of the facility to coordinate interactions between researchers and clinicians. The facility is 134,500 square feet and includes exam / consultation rooms, lab benches, a full conference centre, a brain tissue and DNA bank of samples collected from consenting patients, and patient and animal MRI capabilities.

More after the break.

Courtesy of StantecCourtesy of StantecCourtesy of StantecCourtesy of Stantec+ 22

Video: UBC Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability

The Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability (CIRS) at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver is on track to open in the summer of 2011. CIRS aims to be the most innovative and high performance building in North America, a “living laboratory” where professors, students and partners demonstrate leading-edge research and develop sustainable design practices, products, systems and policies. The building will push the frontiers of sustainable construction materials and building techniques. It will draw much of its heat from the ground, electricity from the sun, ventilation from the wind, water from the rain–all while reducing the university’s energy use and carbon footprint.