Residence Renovations

We are happy to announce that as of September 2017, both our Neyoh and Keyoh Residences have been completed. A big thank you to all those involved in this massive project!


UNBC Residence continues to be an integral piece of student life at the University of Northern British Columbia.  The buildings provide not just housing, but community learning and development opportunities for nearly 550 students. Ensuring that the buildings age well with the University is an important element in attracting and retaining students from far and wide. 

April 25, 2016 was the big day and marked the official start of the project. The goals? Simple:

  • An enhanced student experience for residents - to give the buildings a new, and fresh look after 20 years of operations. 
  • A clean and green residence model - to keep step with the rest of the University, UNBC Residence is introducing its new approach to a green way to heat the buildings. 

Scope and Timeline

The full scope of the project will span over two years. This summer, we are beginning with giving Neyoh the beauty treatment – next summer will be Keyoh’s turn to have a seat in the extreme makeover chair.

Neyoh will be on a tight timeline. As of April 25, 2016, UNBC Residence handed over control of the building to general contractor IDL ProjectsUNBC will reclaim the completed building on August 26, 2016. Just in time to get the building ready for our official Move-In Day on September 4th, 2016!

What if they don’t finish on time? RelaxIDL Projects and the UNBC Project Team have been keeping a very close eye on the schedule throughout the construction to date. While there have been a few minor delays, the schedule is being maintained, and at this time, it is unlikely that we will encounter any further unexpected schedule delays.

At any point we feel we are behind schedule, IDL has additional personpower they can add to get right back on track. IDL and UNBC both have full confidence that the building will be completed on schedule! 

So What's Changing?

The renovation project is bringing in a ton of updates and features to enhance the safety and comfort of the residence experience. These updates will include:

• New visuals: Neyoh is getting hit with a new interior paintjob, new ceilings, new flooring (where needed), and new window coverings. Included in this is the monumental task of repairing 20 years of tack holes!
• Updated bathrooms: This will include brand new tubs, counters and dual flush toilets.
• Refreshed Kitchens: Brand new lighting fixtures, and repaired cabinets, appliances and flooring.
• New security measures: Residence will be implementing dual access (card and pin pass) electronic locks on all suite and bedroom doors.
 Green heating: This renovation project is a part of the UNBC Energy Initiative. See below for more details!

Canada's Green Residence

Green Heating

UNBC has historically received international recognition for its sustainable initiatives – and we have no intentions of stopping there.

As part of the new UNBC Energy Initiative, the Green University Planning Committee (GUPC) has assisted in the research and implementation of the new heating system in UNBC's Residence. Moving forward, we want to continue to work towards not just being Canada's Green University but also Canada's Green Residence. 

This requires two things:

These two things will work in tandem, not just to heat the water, but to use the heat in the hot water piping to provide warmth to the entire building for the long and cold Northern winter. This will eliminate a massive portion of our natural gas consumption and consequently reduce our carbon footprint significantly. 

The Three R's

The main principles of a sustainable life center on the three R's: reduce, re-use, and recycle. 

One of the driving forces behind this renovation project was to follow these principles wherever possible. After an extensive audit of the existing furniture, the steering committee made the decision to re-upholster the existing furniture in Residence as opposed to purchasing brand new sets.

This will allow us to fix any major damage to the fabric and structure of the chairs and couches whilst re-using their frames.

Less waste! New feel! It's a win win for UNBC. 

Fun Facts!

  • We will be replacing 73 toilets.
  • There are 540 chairs being re-upholstered and 75 couches.
  • Nearly 2km of aquatherm piping is being installed.
  • Neyoh is actually Keyoh's older brother. (Neyoh was built in 1995, Keyoh in 1996).
  • Both buildings are named in the Carrier language: Neyoh means "for the home" and Keyoh means "for the community." 
  • UNBC Residence is THE BEST place to live! (Okay, we haven't proven that one yet, but we're pretty sure.)

Keyoh's Construction - 1996