qPCR device

LuminUltra and BuiltSpace partner with UBC scientists to test cleaning protocols, reducing the risk of COVID-19 spread in indoor educational spaces

Vancouver, B.C. – Dec. 14, 2020 – Biotechnology leader LuminUltra has partnered with BuiltSpace, a building data and asset tracking specialist, and scientists at the University of British Columbia (UBC) to test the effectiveness of disinfection efforts in educational settings for early detection of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

“The battle against COVID-19 requires new thinking,” says Rick Rolston, CEO of BuiltSpace. “We’ve made it easy and affordable for buildings of any size to collect and organize cleaning protocol data as well as the activities of people in that building. We believe that our technology and LuminUltra’s testing solutions can empower Canada’s education systems and building owners to optimize their cleaning operations to protect the people that move through their indoor spaces.”

At the helm of the research is Dr. Martin Hirst, Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Associate Director of the Michael Smith Laboratories at UBC, and Head of Epigenomics at Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre at the BC Cancer Research Institute. Dr. Hirst and team will lead the research study using BuiltSpace technology as well as LuminUltra’s complete testing solutions, which includes the gold-standard RT-qPCR testing devices, to detect SARS-CoV-2 on surfaces in under two hours.

Over the next eight weeks, LuminUltra, BuiltSpace, the UBC custodial team, and researchers at the UBC Michael Smith Labs will validate environmental infection control processes in two high-traffic buildings at UBC Vancouver. To do so, researchers will take almost 1,000 environmental test samples to understand the distribution of SARS-CoV-2 in academic buildings.

“The crucial information obtained from our work will arm decision-makers with measurable insight into the safety of their facilities,” says Pat Whalen, Chairman & CEO of LuminUltra. “This knowledge can result in a variety of actions – like cleaning, contact tracing, and clinical testing – that can help keep students and teachers safe.”

“Working with our partners we are committed to completing research that will inform policy makers on how tracking cleaning and surface testing processes can greatly improve the probability of safe environments for students, staff and visitors in indoor educational spaces,” said Dr. Hirst.

About LuminUltra

Founded in 1995, LuminUltra is a biological diagnostic testing company headquartered in Canada with operations in six countries. It is widely recognized globally as a leader in developing tests and reagents for environmental, industrial, and diagnostic monitoring and is a key supplier of COVID-19 clinical testing reagents to the Government of Canada. Customers in over 80 countries trust LuminUltra’s technology, production reliability, and history of customer service excellence to deliver their essential services in a safe-state. At the same time, LuminUltra fosters a culture of innovation and agility and is on an accelerated growth path, acquiring multiple companies in recent years and forming a partnership with the specialized private equity firm XPV Water Partners.

About BuiltSpace

BuiltSpace lays the groundwork for smart buildings with a QR Code activated application that collects data at the point of service. Our cloud-based platform enables proactive process management across the complex ecosystem of manufacturers, service suppliers, and facility operators. QR Codes placed on individual assets or at specific locations offer a user-friendly way to share real-time process instructions and ensure that tasks are completed satisfactorily. Our goal is to improve energy efficiency, reduce administrative and service costs to building owners, managers, tenants, and service personnel.

In 2018, BuiltSpace and the University of British Columbia teamed up to create a proactive campus-scale digital change management processes for infrastructure and critical building assets. UBC now manages over 20,000 critical assets in the BuiltSpace cloud.


Media contact



Rick Rolston
President and Founder, BuiltSpace Technologies
+1-604-398-6035 (office)
+1-604-889-4176 (cell)

Martin Hirst PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology & Immunology
Associate Director, Michael Smith Laboratories
+1-604 822 6373

LuminUltra Team

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