The University of British Columbia's Life Science Centre: Achieving a 35% Reduction in Energy Use from UBC’s Largest Laboratory Building, Through Low Cost Optimization Measures and Waste Heat Recovery

Julie West, University of British Columbia

At 4% of campus floor space and 10% of campus energy use, the University of British Columbia's (UBC) LEED® Gold Life Science Centre represents a large proportion of overall energy use on campus. Starting in 2012 UBC's energy conservation team began a systematic process of low cost optimizations, waste heat recovery, and optimizing building air changes which have led to 35% reduction in building energy use.

Learning Objectives

  • How energy cost can be reduced by 35% in a building with less than a 1 year payback after incentives and a 41% ROI
  • gain an understanding of how doing simple maintenance can have a large impact on building energy use.
  • know how to engage lab occupants, researchers, and facilities managers to get buy-in to your project.
  • learn how building occupant concerns were managed and managing any change on the users side.


Julie West is the Energy Conservation Manager at the University of British Columbia. She has 9 Years of energy conservation, new construction, and sustainable building experience. She has worked at UBC in here role doing energy conservation existing and new laboratory buildings for 3 years. Before that, she worked as a mechanical engineer in building consulting both in Vancouver in Toronto. She holds a P.Eng in BC and Ontario.


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