Goals, Scope, and Governance


The goals of the Technical Guidelines are to ensure:

    1. high quality, sustainable physical environments that meet the needs of the University community
    2. functionality, reliability and serviceability of facilities, systems and components
    3. minimum lifecycle cost of ownership including design, construction, operating and maintenance costs
    4. flexibility for growth and change
    5. strong, positive and enduring quality of physical surroundings
    6. environmental responsibility and sensitivity
    7. resource efficiency (energy, water, materials)
    8. universal accessibility
    9. safety and security
    10. value in facilities and infrastructure investment


The Technical Guidelines serve as the code of quality and performance for the design, construction and renovation of University-owned facilities. The Guidelines cover the materials, physical components and systems that comprise campus buildings, landscapes and infrastructure. The level of quality deemed by any one standard or guideline is determined on the basis of achievement of the above noted goals regarding facility functionality, reliability, sustainability, accessibility, safety, security, serviceability and life-cycle cost.

The Technical Guidelines include:

    1. mandatory minimum standards for UBC
    2. suggested applications that meet UBC goals
    3. acceptable practices
    4. common systems and components
    5. performance criteria
    6. procedural standards
    7. environmental impact requirements

The Guidelines do not cover:


The Technical Guidelines apply to all projects involving University-owned facilities, landscape and infrastructure.

Applicable projects include new construction, additions, renovations, upgrades and cyclical maintenance / renewal work.

Compliance with these Guidelines shall be part of all consultant agreements. Specific applicability of the guidelines will be directed to the consultant before fees are submitted. All proposed variances from the Guidelines must be approved by UBC Facilities prior to issuance of a building permit.

The Guidelines are intended to be used by:

  • all outside consultants and designers on University-owned projects
  • Campus & Community Planning
  • Building Operations
  • Infrastructure Development
  • Suppliers and contractors to UBC
  • UBC Properties Trust
  • UBC Energy and Water Services (formerly UBC Utilities)


The Technical Guidelines are maintained and administered by UBC Facilities, Transition Team.

All changes are approved through a Steering Committee which includes staff from UBC Properties Trust, UBC Facilities, UBC Energy and Water Services, UBC Campus and Community Planning and UBC Sustainability.

The Transition Team edits and publishes changes approved by this Steering Committee, in partnership with the following UBC stakeholders:

The Technical Guidelines is a living document, but even though information is continuously received to keep abreast of new developments in the areas of design and construction, it has been agreed that, from 2008 onwards, the Technical Guidelines will be updated once per year. In the rare event that the change is considered to be sufficiently important that it must be published between launch dates, a bulletin will be issued to every known stakeholder and consultant.

This single annual update has several benefits including:

    1. Changes previously made on the fly that have previously created confusion on the job site and in contractual arrangements will be a thing of the past.
    2. With one launch date of the annual update each year, everyone is pre-warned and can make the time to adjust to the changes in the Technical Guidelines.