Building Tune-ups

Building Tune-Ups

A few simple, low-cost changes can impact the energy consumption of UBC’s buildings significantly. UBC launched a campus-wide Building Tune-Up program in 2010. The initiative is led by UBC Energy and Water Services (EWS), Building Operations, and Project Services, in partnership with BC Hydro’s Continuous Optimization program and technology provider Pulse Energy.

Continually Optimizing Our Buildings

The Building Tune-Up program involves re-commissioning 72 buildings to reduce the energy and emissions in core campus buildings by 10 per cent. All existing core academic buildings larger than 50,000 square feet are included in the program.

A brand new building is programmed to run as originally designed. Over time, a building’s use evolves—its operational schedules change, its spaces are renovated, and its occupants have different requirements. Eventually, a building’s operation doesn’t match its use.

The Building Tune-Up program gets buildings back on track by improving their temperature, lighting, and ventilation controls to match occupancy. The program also involves turning off operational systems that aren’t in use.

Program Roll Out

After a successful Building Tune-Up pilot in 2010, the program is being rolled out in four phases across campus. By the end of 2016/17, a total of 72 core academic buildings across campus will have received a tune-up.

Pilot: Building Tune-Up pilots in the Buchanan Tower and the Neville Scarfe buildings were completed in 2010 and proved successful, saving 13 per cent of electricity and 35 per cent of gas consumption annually.

Phase 1: An additional 17 building tune-ups were completed in 2013, mostly in laboratories, saving UBC 2,000,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) and 17,000 gigajoules (GJ) of gas annually, equivalent to turning the energy off in 230 homes.

Phases 2 and 3: Energy audits have been completed for an additional 43 buildings. Twenty buildings will be tuned up in Phase 2 by the end of 2015/16. Phase 3 is scheduled for implementation in 2016/17.

Phase 4: Energy audits will be performed on the academic buildings tuned up since 2010. This phase is scheduled for implementation in 2017/18.

Continuous Monitoring

All major academic and administrative buildings at UBC are fitted with meters for electricity and heat monitoring (raw data can be found here). These meters are linked to software that tracks energy use. The UBC Energy Planning and Innovation (EPI) group continuously monitors all the metered buildings on campus, looking for deviations from normal building energy use, to catch problems and make adjustments.

Visit the UBC Sustainability Initiative website for more information about UBC’s Building Tune-ups, Frequently Asked Questions about the tune-ups, and what the UBC campus community can do to get involved.