AMS plans $26-thousand sustainability centre in Life Building

Plans are underway for the AMS’s $26-thousand Interactive Sustainability Centre.

Should plans be approved, the Interactive Sustainability Centre (ISC) will be a “one-stop shop” for students to learn about and be involved in sustainability focused initiatives and clubs on campus. It will be located in the basement of the Life Building.

Of the $26 thousand budgeted for the project, the major costs will be $6,433 for recycled-chopstick furniture from Chop Value, $4,500 for painting and $3,300 for electrical work.

The project is part of the AMS Sustainable Action Plan and is headed by Vice-President Administration Sylvester Mensah Jr.

“A typical day in the ISC will likely see students stopping by on their way to or from the Nest and getting to know what is being done currently by AMS sustainability,” said Mensah. “It could also include those students volunteering for a couple of programs or for the sustainability teams in one aspect or another.”

The centre will also include data and research from faculty or groups on UBC’s sustainability targets and goals. This includes the $6,103 “dashboard,” a visual data aid that will show UBC emissions and provide information about research projects.

“[Through the ISC] more students can get a behind the scenes look at what has been done and the milestones that have been crossed in the last few years,” said Mensah.

The centre is part of larger plans to create a “sustainability corridor” in the Life Building basement. These plans include a lending library, The Thingery, which would hopefully reduce student purchases of rarely used items like tools and camping gear. Plans also include a mural competition for the corridor walls.

For now, Mensah is focused on getting the ISC approved and beginning construction.

The space is small at about 400 square feet, so Mensah intends for it to be used as a planning space for sustainability clubs. Asked at Council why students would need a new space to plan events, Mensah said that the space provides a physical presence for AMS sustainability efforts that didn’t exist before.

Mensah hopes the ISC will be fully functioning by September 2021.