Shut the Sash

Did you know? Fume hoods use 10% of UBC’s total energy!

Shut the Sash encourages researchers to save energy through one simple action—closing laboratory fume hoods.

2015 Competition Results Are In!

From February 23 to March 27, Campus and Community Planning partnered with BC Hydro to host the 4th Annual Shut the Sash energy-saving competition focusing on laboratory fume hoods.

Over 200 researchers in three energy intensive lab buildings—Earth Sciences, Life Sciences, and Pharmaceutical Sciences—participated in this year’s competition, forming 41 teams to compete for the highest amount of energy savings and to win great prizes.

Congratulations to participating teams and to the Grand Prize and Spirit Challenge Award Winners!

2015 Grand Prize Award Winners

  • Earth Sciences Building: OceanFury (Team Champion: Anna Hippmann)
  • Life Sciences Centre: Gatsuuchi Mold (Team Champion: Kate Choi)
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences: Fellowship of the Sash (Team Champion: Jacob Berman)

2015 Spirit Challenge Award

  • First Place: Fellowship of the Sash (Team Champion: Jacob Berman)
  • Runner-up: The Magnetic Hafeli Chocolatiers (Team Champion: José De La Vega)

Competition Results

Overall, participating lab teams achieved a 64 per cent decrease in sash height, resulting in 6,780 kWh of electricity savings, 210 GJ of natural gas savings, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 10.6 tonnes, equivalent to 6 round trip flights from Vancouver to St. John’s Newfoundland.

Read more about the competition here.


Past Competitions


Shut the Sash 2014

Over 200 researchers in three buildings—Earth Sciences, Life Sciences, and Pharmaceutical Sciences—participated in their first ever Shut the Sash. Researchers formed 50 teams and achieved an overall 81 per cent improvement in average sash height. A new component to the competition was the Spirit Challenge, where teams completed a series of tasks, such as creating prompts and making videos, to promote Shut the Sash as a group. Teams were encouraged to use social media platforms to increase the presence of Shut the Sash. Learn more about the 2014 competition in this feature article.

Shut the Sash 2013

With the same three buildings participating in 2013, the results were impressive.  Nine teams kept their sashes shut when not in use for all 6 weeks of the competition—and in one entire building, every sash was shut for 4 weeks of the competition. Read more about the competition.

Shut the Sash 2012

Research labs in Biological Sciences West & South, Chemistry D & E, and Michael Smith Laboratories participated in the first ever Shut the Sash Competition at UBC. Over the six-week competition, monitors recorded an 82 per cent improvement in sash closures.  Read more about the competition and results.


Over the past three years of the competition, participating labs saved an estimated 163,500 kWh of electricity and 3,915 GJ of natural gas, and reduced GHG emissions by 176 tonnes—equivalent to 105 round-trip flights from Vancouver to St. John’s, Newfoundland.


To find out more about Shut the Sash, please email


UBC acknowledges the support of BC Hydro, FortisBC and VWR in our campaign to reduce energy use in labs. UBC’s Shut the Sash competition was adapted from the University of Toronto Sustainability Office’s campaign guide.