Building Inhabitants

In addition to the Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability, the CIRS building houses an interdisciplinary collection of academic research units, operational units, partner organizations and food services. Below is the current list of inhabitants groups.

In addition to the Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability, the CIRS building houses an interdisciplinary collection of academic research units, operational units, partner organizations and food services. Below is the current list of inhabitants groups.

Centre for Community Engaged Learning

The Centre for Community Engaged Learning collaborates with students, staff, faculty and community partners to provide students with opportunities to apply their academic knowledge to real-world issues through community-based experiential learning placements.


Collaborative for Advanced Landscape Planning (CALP)

The Collaborative for Advanced Landscape Planning is an interdisciplinary research group, operating jointly in the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture and the Department of Forest Resources Management. CALP develops accessible sustainable solutions focused on climate action and education that bridge research and practice by applying data-modeling, visualizations, innovative environmental design and participatory processes to community and landscape planning.

Director: Dr. Stephen Sheppard



ElementsLAB is an urban form and environment research group in the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (SALA). The Lab works primarily through the development of elementsdb, a case-based database of urban land use ‘elements’ (e.g. buildings, streets and open spaces), and interactive 2- and 3D modelling and visualizations.

Directors: Ron Kellet and Cynthia Girling


Indigenous Research Support Initiative

A new initiative under the office of the VP Research & Innovation, the Indigenous Research Support Initiative (IRSI) was created to enable collaborative research with Indigenous communities, university researchers and other partners and to transform the institutional culture at UBC to help train researchers on how to appropriately engage in collaborative research with Indigenous communities.

Associate Director: Lerato Chondoma


Pacific Institute for Climate Studies (PICS)

The Pacific Institute for Climate Studies is a research and knowledge sharing network that brings together researchers, policymakers and the business community to study the impacts of and develop adaptations and mitigation approaches to climate change. PICS is led by the University of Victoria (UVic) in collaboration with the University of British Columbia (UBC), Simon Fraser University (SFU) and the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC).

Executive Director: Dr. Sybil Seitzinger (Victoria, BC)
UBC Campus Coordinator: Sara Muir-Owen


Psychology Lab

The Psychology Lab is run by the department of psychology and specifically focuses on research into the human behavioural aspects of sustainability. It is home to the new Canada Research Chair on Cognitive Science and Behavioral Sustainability.

Department Head: Dr. Alan Kingston
Behavioural Sustainability Research Chair: Dr. Jiaying Zhao


Student Diversity Initiative

Part of the Office of Equity & Inclusion, the Student Diversity Initiative, works to address the complexities of the diversity at all levels of campus and to embed UBC’s core values of equity, diversity, and inclusion throughout the operations, systems, culture and organizational structures that directly impact the campus experience for diverse students.


Sustainable Education Resource Centre (SERC)

Sustainable Education Resource Centre provides guidance for and resources to students and faculty interested in integrating sustainability more fully into their education and teaching programs. SERC is operated by UBC Sustainability Initiative through the Teaching and Learning office. It is staffed by the Sustainability Student Advisor, who provides one-on-one assistance to students as well as coordinating co-curricular opportunities for student s to become involved with sustainability efforts at UBC.

Sustainability Student Advisor: Kshamta Hunter/Karen Selby


UBC Community Development

Part of the Campus and Community Planning department, this unit reflects the strategic priority placed by the University on making its campuses more vibrant by leveraging its public realm, infrastructure, cultural and athletic assets and developing strong linkages and programs. The unit includes Campus animation, UNA liaison and social programming, transit management and the SEEDs program and works closely with the UNA, the VP Students portfolio, and with the AMS.

Director: Carole Jolly


UBC Energy and Water Services

With a mandate of fiscal efficiency, operational excellence, environmental sustainability, and innovative demonstrations, UBC’s Energy and Water Services works to reduce UBC’s consumption of energy and water, and eliminate our greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 through mindful stewardship of our campus energy and water resources that maintains environmental comfort, ensures system reliability, minimizes life cycle cost, reduces GHG emissions, and seeks out innovative solutions that inspire.

Managing Director, Energy and Water: David Woodson


UBC Institutional Programs Office (IPO)

The Institutional Programs Office provides administrative and strategic support to researchers pursuing and operating under major federal, provincial and regional infrastructure awards. IPO services include application review, workshops, financial reporting and audit support, and strategic support to select groups within the VP Research and International portfolio.

Director, Institutional Programs: Sharon Wu


UBC Sustainability and Engineering

Sustainability and Engineering is a unit of Campus and Community Planning, responsible for resource management and infrastructure management plans, operational sustainability planning and reporting, creating incentives for sustainable behaviours among staff, faculty and students, green building programs and providing engineering services for the land use planning and permitting processes.

Director: John Madden


UBC Sustainability Initiative (USI)

The USI advances sustainability efforts at UBC and beyond by facilitating the incorporation of sustainability into curriculum and research, and building collaborations and partnerships. It includes the Regional and International Engagement group, the Teaching and Learning group, and the Urban Innovation Research group.

Executive Director: Dr. James Tansey


UBC Wellbeing Initiative

The UBC Wellbeing Initiative is a university-wide effort to engage with our Vancouver and Okanagan campuses to build happier and healthier communities. The Initiative is students, staff, faculty, senior administration, and neighbours working together to ask the question: how can we promote the wellbeing, health and sustainability of our people and environments?

Director Vancouver Campus: Matt Dolf
Director Okanagan Campus: Claire Budgen


Urban Forestry Research in Action

The Urban Forestry Research in Action (UFORIA) lab aims to contribute to more resilient and healthy urban communities by advancing and transforming the way people understand, plan and manage urban forests. The lab’s applied research focuses on urban forest governance and management, as well as the many ecosystem services provided by urban forests and other urban nature.

Director: Dr. Cecil Konijnendijk


Urban Predictive Analytics

The Urban Predictive Analytics lab informs smart city policies for decision-makers around the world, by using computational methods, data analytics and systems approach, to understand the interdependencies between infrastructure, technology, people and the environment in urban settings.

Director: Dr. Martino Tran


Food Services

The Loop Café

Sourcing local product and conducting business with an environmentally conscious focus, the Loop café serves distinctively fresh and organic choices that reflect local flavours. At The Loop Café, everything is recyclable or compostable, no bottle or can beverages, everything sold at the cafe has minimal packaging and is produced on campus, sourced or grown locally or directly from UBC Farm. Soups, salads, stews, Italian soda and of course, locally roasted Fair Trade coffee and espresso beverages.