• Vancouver, BC
  • UBC Properties Trust
  • 23,535 sq m
  • 253,333 sq ft
  • LEED® Platinum certified
  • Applied Engineering Solutions
  • B+H Associated Architects
  • RJC Engineers
DIALOG Services
  • Architecture
  • Interior Design
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Purposefully situated, the Alma Mater Society (AMS) Nest is the social pulsing heart of UBC. The space considers both people and place, and the LEED® Platinum certified mixed-use facility - designed in collaboration with B+H - serves the environment, promotes socialization, and is economically self-efficient. The program represents a broad range of the student-operated food, beverage, and retail services that generate income. Atypical features include an art gallery, radio station, roof-top garden, climbing wall, and numerous unstructured learning spaces.

It's almost a mini city in a building.
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It all started with a sketch

The Nest Theatre The new student union building started with The Nest, which embodied a safe and sustainable space. From this central idea, students and designers collectively conceived of the rest.
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The Sustainability Story 01

The building's functional, sustainable architecture is simultaneously inspiring, featuring a palatial floating datum, aka The Nest. The central sky-lit atrium, known as the Agora, is flanked with floor-to-ceiling windows that run along the west of the structure. These flood the Agora with incandescence while offering views of the knoll, an external social gathering space. The tactical vibrations of wood against steel speak warmth and strength. The structural conversation is reflective of the compounded voices of UBC’s student body.

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The Sustainability Story 02

The building incorporates aspects of the Living Building Challenge, the goal of which is to encourage the creation of a regenerative built environment.

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The Sustainability Story 03

This is sustainability by very pleasing numbers. They are as follows: 2.8M litres of rainwater collection per year; 75% construction waste diversion; 64% reduction in potable water use; 57% energy savings; 50% Forest Stewardship Council-certified materials; 5% energy from solar thermal.

The Georgia Straight on The Nest

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Special Features

Vertical village Rounding out the functional programming at The Nest are community rooftop gardens.
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Special Features01

A host of food venues to keep students nourished and the economy of the building flowing.
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Special Features02

There are numerous engaging student facilities, such as the climbing wall.


2016 Awards of Excellence - Gold Award, Vancouver Regional Construction Association

2016 Jury's Choice Awards, WoodWORKS! BC

2016 Award for Excellence in the Design of Architectural Woodwork, Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers Association

2015 Outstanding Steel Structure, Engineering Division - Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC)

2014 Institutional Concept, Second Place, Rethinking the Future