Our 100 year-old campus is home to many historic buildings, some of which, have been in use since they were originally constructed in the 1920s. Over the years, the campus has grown, the demand for energy and water services has increased, and so have our costs. In response, we’ve launched various initiatives to optimize, upgrade or replace our building’s energy and water systems, integrate new technologies into existing infrastructure, and help us operate as efficiently as possible.

In this section

Steam to Hot Water Conversion Project

The Academic District Energy System is UBC’s largest infrastructure upgrade project to date. Spanning the northern half of the campus, the five-year project involved converting the campus from a steam energy system to a hot water energy system—and it brings our energy story full circle.

Bioenergy Research Demonstration Facility (BRDF)

UBC’s relatively new Bioenergy Research Demonstration Facility (BRDF) brings our Campus as a Living Lab initiative to life. Operational since 2012, the facility uses biomass cogeneration technology to produce steam, electricity, and hot water for our campus, and illustrates how green technologies can be integrated into campus energy systems. The facility is built for innovation and recently added capabilities to operate using Renewable Natural Gas.

Energy Conservation Projects

We’ve launched a wide range of energy conservation and efficiency projects at UBC over the years, both large and small.  Whether it’s the eight-year ECOTrek project, or the more straightforward HVAC coil cleaning project, all our initiatives have allowed us to operate more efficiently and reduce our energy consumption and costs significantly.


Skyspark is an Internet of Things (IoT) platform from Skyfoundry that uses heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and energy data to improve building performance. In 2017, Energy & Water Services’ Energy Conservation team started tracking energy and water data using Skyspark and now use the platform daily to optimize building control and identify energy and […]