UBC Okanagan Skeena Student Residences

bbp ubco skeena student residences exterior

Public: Architecture + Communication


Kelowna, BC


Higher Education




6,500 m² (70,000 ft²)




Passive House

The new Skeena Student Residence is the University of British Columbia Okanagan’s first Passive House certified project.

Constructed over a single-storey concrete podium, this efficient six-storey student residence will provide 220 beds and support amenities, including lounges, informal study spaces, an activity room, and laundry facilities.

By working closely with the design team, construction details were resolved early on in the process, allowing the residence to meet all structural and Passive House energy requirements. In order to achieve this certification—resulting in a building that consumes up to 90% less heating and cooling energy than conventional buildings—extensive insulation was used on all below-grade elements, including foundations and columns, as well as the exterior walls, which extended from the foundations to the roof. This affected the anchorage of all exterior cladding, thus careful attention to detail was required to maintain a high level of thermal performance. Additionally, lateral resistance was provided by wooden shear walls with a continuous rod tie-down anchor system and shrinkage compensators installed at each individual floor level.

This highly efficient Passive House project at UBC’s Okanagan campus is a welcome addition to the campus community.


2021 Canadian Green Building Award, Residential Large Category - Sustainable Architecture & Building Magazine

2020 Wood WORKS! BC Wood Design Award, Environmental Performance

Project Images

bbp ubco skeena student residences entrance
bbp ubco skeena student residences entire exterior
bbp ubco skeena student residences foyer