UBC Student Union Building

Vancouver, BC

LEED Platinum Certified

24,000 m2

$110 million

B+H Architects

Ema Peter


Lighting Award:
Illuminating Engineering Society of North America 2016 Illuminiation Awards, Interior Lighting Design, Special Citation for Architectural Integration and Coordination

2016 Darc Awards, Best Interior Lighting Scheme – Low Budget


Case Study

The Alma Mater Society (AMS) moved into their new home, the ‘Student Nest’, in the Fall of 2015. Located on University Square, the new Student Union Building (SUB) forms the central piece of a new public square at the entry of UBC. The five-storey, 24,000 square meter facility includes extensive food and retail uses, club rooms, a “black box” theater, meeting rooms and an agricultural roof garden – all focused around a central atrium. As a LEED Platinum building, incorporating elements of the Living Building Challenge, the new SUB is extremely energy-efficient and exceeds energy code. AES worked closely with the architectural team to ensure the luminaires would fit seamlessly into the architecture and provide the desired effect of complete lighting integration. Low wattage LED luminaires were used where possible. Illuminating only architectural features allowed for lower overall light levels, reducing LPD by 30%. LEDs allowed for longer lamp life, higher energy savings and lower future harmful chemicals such as mercury from traditional lamp sources. Most importantly, the building expands, promotes, and stimulates awareness of sustainability by fostering dialogue and education of the building’s sustainability features.