The Life Sciences Centre (LSC) is the largest building on the UBC Point Grey campus. Completed in 2004, this $125 million, 52,165 square meter building was built to accommodate the Distributed Medical Educational Program—which has nearly doubled the number of yearly medical school graduates in the province since its inception. Due to the building’s size and the density of research activities hosted, the LSC consumes roughly 10% of the campus’s energy.
Tweaking and optimizing lowered the Energy Use Intensity by 24 per cent over 4 years
In 2013, the Energy Planning and Innovation group identified a number of controls- and commissioning-related issues which were leading to higher energy consumption. To address these issues, we:
- optimized and staged the building’s three chillers, significantly improving cooling plant efficiency.
- recommissioned building control systems to eliminate simultaneous heating and cooling issues.
- launched comprehensive coil cleaning and air filter replacement programs.
- participated in BC Hydro’s Continuous Optimization program.
These seemingly minor tweaks have reduced the LSC’s total Energy Use Intensity (EUI) by 24 per cent between 2011 and 2015. This translates into cost savings upwards of $400,000 per year.
Taking the next steps to meet a 65 per cent reduction over 5 years
The Energy Planning and Innovation team are now taking steps to further improve the building’s energy performance. A dedicated heat recovery chiller was installed in n December of 2015, with funding assistance from FortisBC and the provincial government’s Carbon Neutral Action Fund. This new equipment is expected to reduce annual thermal energy consumption by 20%. Further, starting in March of 2016, optimizationsto the buildings exhaust system are expected to reduce electrical demand by 10%. All combined, Energy and Water Services anticipates that by the end of 2016, Life Science Centre’s annual energy use will be a mere 65% of what it was just five years ago.