T-Birds National Championship Wins Cause for Celebration at UBC Aquatic Centre

After this weekend the UBC Aquatic Centre is home to more awards and hardware as the UBC Thunderbirds claimed both the men’s and women’s 2019 U SPORTS Odlum Brown Swimming National Championships. With the home pool advantage, the UBC women claimed their seventh title in the past eight years, while the men captured four of the past five national championships. For the championship-winning Thunderbirds, the success was summed up by UBC head coach, Steve Price, “”It’s an amazing feeling to win a championship, but to win it at home is extra special.”

Photo by Rich Lam/UBC Thunderbirds

The success of the UBC varsity swim program is representative of the spirit at the heart of the UBC Aquatic Centre. Serving as home to the UBC Thunderbirds varsity swimming teams and one of Swimming Canada’s three High Performance Centres, UBC Aquatic Centre is a world-class training and competition environment integrated into a sustainable, community and recreation aquatics facility. At the heart of the facility are its four separate tanks to support leisure, recreation, and competition-calibre aquatics programs. With parent/tot swim programs occurring in the same facility as championship-calibre and Olympic-level swimmers, the hope is that the Aquatic Centre will continue to produce high performance athletes and a lifelong love of aquatics activities.

Notably, the LEED Gold certified building was also recognized last week with an ASHRAE BC Technology Award for its incredible application of energy conservation and building design. Senior Director, Kavie Toor noted, “It’s great to see UBC’s integrated approach to athletics and sustainability be recognized. The vision for [the UBC Aquatic Centre] combined high-performance, community use, and sustainability; in practice, it’s turned out to be even better than we imagined.”

This is just one of many accolades for the 85,000 sq. ft. building as last month it was awarded a Dow-IOC Sustainable Futures Award and celebrated by Canadian magazine, Chatelaine, as one of the top pools in the country. While crediting the inclusion of a recreation and competition pools, the magazine highlighted the building’s innovative use of Vancouver’s rainwater for the building’s water supply as a key feature. The building saves approximately 2.7 million litres of water annually through rainwater harvesting, and almost 7,000 litres of water daily through water-efficient shower heads.

Since opening its doors to the public in the spring of 2017, the UBC Aquatic Centre has become an iconic part of the UBC landscape for thousands of visitors to the UBC Point Grey campus. Now, two years on the UBC Aquatic Centre and its national champions – the UBC Thunderbirds men’s and women’s swim teams – can celebrate the huge successes its brought to the UBC community!

To date, the UBC Aquatic Centre has received the following awards:

  • 2018 AIA International Region Awards – Award of Merit in Open International Architecture Category
  • 2018 AIA International Region Awards – DOW-IOC Sustainable Futures
  • 2018 Global Architecture and Design Awards – ‘Re-Thinking the Future’
  • 2018 Piscine Global Europe Pool Design Awards – Third Place for the “most beautiful public pool”
  • 2018 Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia
  • Award in Architecture – Medal
  • 2018 OAA Architectural Award – Finalist
  • 2018 Interior Designers of Canada (IDC) Value of Design Awards — Award of Merit
  • 2018 Interior Designers Institute of British Columbia (IDIBC) Awards of Excellence — Shine Awards
  • 2018 Engineers & Geoscientists British Columbia – Sustainability Awards
  • 2017 Athletic Business Architectural Showcase –
  • Facilities of Merit Design Awards
  • 2014 Canadian Architect Award of Excellence