University Of British Columbia Pharmaceutical Sciences Building

Type of Building
22,854 sq. m.
HCMA Architecture + Design, Saucier + Perrotte Architects
Structural Engineer
Glotman Simpson Consulting Engineers
Project Owner
University of British Columbia
Millwork, Paneling

The Pharmaceutical Sciences Building aesthetic is one of balance between the natural beauty of wood surfaces and other materials such as glass and concrete. The wood also speaks to the building's design inspiration: trees.

K. Wayne Riggs, Dean pro tem Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Project Overview

The award-winning Pharmaceutical Sciences Building is a gateway to the academic core of the University of British Columbia – and a showcase for the immense potential of wood construction. Wood has a high profile throughout the public spaces of the building, inside and out. It is used in the wall cladding, in exposed wall guard protection, and as trim. Design highlights incorporating wood include angled cedar ceilings, millwork in framed partitions, and features in the exterior landscape such as wood seating and table surfaces. The wood in the Pharmaceutical Sciences Building creates a warm, welcoming environment for students, staff and visitors, while offering environmental benefits. Studies show wood products have a significant impact on indoor environmental quality; this in turn directly benefits human health and leads to greater productivity through improved concentration and lower levels of fatigue for building occupants. Designed to the LEED Gold standard, the structure supports the expansion of the Faculty of Pharmacy and provides a home to a number of research organizations, including the Centre for Drug Research and Development. There is also a pharmacy clinic that lets students and practitioners around the province gain valuable experience working with patients.

Wood Features

World Leaders: Iconic Structure

The awardwinning Pharmaceutical Sciences Building highlights the faculty's world-class standards, and sets the stage for collaborative learning and research. Wood is showcased throughout as a prime example of a more environmentally responsible approach to design and construction.

Meeting The Bottom Line: Efficient And Effective

By sourcing wood products and hiring construction trades locally, the project provided economic benefits in the Greater Vancouver area. Wood products are often less expensive and cost less to install than other major construction materials without compromising safety or performance.

Link To Nature: Positive Environment

The use of wood creates a productive and high-quality learning environment for teachers and students at the Pharmaceutical Building. Wood's tangible connection to nature and the outdoors is unmatched by other building materials, and research by the University of British Columbia and FPInnovations concludes that wood interiors reduce stress.