UBC Technical Guidelines

Technical Specifications for Architects & Engineers

The UBC Technical Guidelines serve as the code of quality and performance for the design, construction and renovation of University-owned institutional buildings. This includes housing, athletics and institutional buildings, along with landscape and infrastructure; but excludes market housing buildings, whose maintenance is managed on a separate and different system.

The UBC Technical Guidelines outline the principles of design and construction and include: performance objectives, technical requirements, recommended practices, project documentation requirements, sample front-end documentation, plus steps to follow to expedite completion of UBC projects.

Disclaimer: These Technical Guidelines are intended for architects and engineers who provide professional services to The University of British Columbia (UBC), and to contractors providing construction and shop drawing services to UBC. The guidelines do not diminish or reduce the standard of care owed by a consultant, sub-consultant or contractor to The University of British Columbia, nor relieve in any manner whatsoever a consultant or sub-consultant from any professional responsibility, duty or due diligence required towards their work.

The UBC Technical Guidelines establishes the minimum acceptable standards for buildings, infrastructure and landscape on the campus. The guidelines are not a design manual; the consultant is responsible to ensure that the standards stipulated herein are consistent with the project requirements and are adequate for the project design criteria. The designer shall define the project requirements in the Project Manual and drawings as part of the Contract Documents.

Where comments in UBC Technical Guidelines is interpreted to conflict with the industry Standards, Acts and Codes, the compliance with the Standards, Acts and Codes shall prevail and the designer shall bring these conflicts in writing to the attention of Asset Replacement and Improvements, Infrastructure Development.


Request for Variance: Any proposed variance from the Technical Guidelines must be submitted for approval prior to the issuance of a Building Permit. For further details, see “Compliance, Quality Control Requirements and Requests for Variance” under the “Governing Overview/Quality Control Process” section.


Information You'll Find on this Site

Governing Overview

This section contains background information related to the scope and use of the UBC Technical Guidelines. Overall design goals and performance objectives as related to Quality Control, Transportation, Safety, Ergonomics and Security are presented along with coordination requirements and links to various UBC departments.

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Guidelines by Specification Division

This section contains detail design guidelines organized per master format specification divisions. Sections can be viewed or downloaded per individual sections or divisions. UBC standards reference documents and drawings are also linked to applicable divisions.

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Design & Approvals

This section contains links to UBC departments involved in the design phase of projects; documents related to overall integrated design, documentation standards, and standard forms; as well as documentation and links related to permit and departmental approvals.

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Construction & Turnover

This section contains links to UBC departments involved in the construction and turn over phases of a project; standard UBC forms used by contractors; contacts for occupancy and turnover; as well as consultant guidelines to closeout, records and turnover.

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Structural Design & Snow Load

This section provides specific structural standards that are required for UBC projects and facilities. These requirements are intended to satisfy UBC's principles and goals to ensure that consistent structural standards and design criteria are applied to UBC projects.

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This section provides links and guidance for sustainable design and construction at UBC.

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Links & Resources

Useful links to other UBC groups and stakeholders, and contact information for technical services.

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