Just as your car requires regular tune-ups to run smoothly and efficiently, buildings need tune-ups too. Over time, buildings become less efficient, using more energy to satisfy occupant comfort, heating, and lighting requirements.

From 2010 to 2015, UBC will implement a “tune-up” program on its Vancouver campus, in partnership with BC Hydro. We will tweak 72 core academic buildings in total, to shave off as much electrical and thermal energy as possible while maintaining, or even improving, comfort. We will then sustain this new “optimized” state through real-time performance monitoring, targeting and reporting.

About the program

Buildings account for over 95 per cent of UBC's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This tune-up program, also known as “Continuous Optimization,” is a key part of UBC’s Climate Action Plan target to reduce GHG emissions by 33 per cent (below 2007 levels) by 2015. Along with behaviour change programs, the tune-up will lead to a 5,000 tonnes reduction in GHG emissions by 2020.

In 2010, we piloted the program in two buildings, Buchanan Tower and Neville Scarfe, cutting enough electricity to power 30 homes. Imagine what we can achieve over time after completing all 72 buildings.

Visit the UBC Energy and Water Services (EWS) website to learn more about building tune-ups at UBC.

What you can do

What you plug into outlets can have a large impact on your building’s electricity use, including computers, printers and office equipment.

In a typical building, these “plug loads” account for 10 to 30 per cent of electricity use, while lighting can be as high as 30 to 45 per cent. Plus, the waste heat given off by equipment can also trigger the air conditioning in certain buildings—placing even more demand on our electricity supply.

Computers, monitors, “plug loads” and other equipment present the biggest opportunity for you to save energy on campus. Set your computer's power-saving option to turn off the monitor and computer when not in use.

Check out the FAQs for more on what you can do to help save energy at UBC.

How you can monitor performance

Real-time energy management software provided by Pulse Energy will track whether or not each building is on course to maintain its optimized state.

You can visit the dashboard at any time to monitor each building’s daily performance, and to compare each day’s electricity use.

How you can submit feedback

Phase One of the Building tune-up program was launched in January 2012, in 17 buildings across UBC’s Vancouver campus.

If you work in one of the 17 buildings undergoing a building tune-up and find you’re uncomfortable, please contact Service Centre at 604-822-2173. You can also submit a Maintenance Request online, so we can address the issue.


For more information, read the Building Tune-up FAQs, or visit the UBC Energy and Water Services (EWS) website.


To find out more about this initiative, please contact Joshua Wauthy, Energy Conservation Engineer.