Project Highlights: Green Residence Competition

April 2, 2010 at 9:08 am Leave a comment

from University of British Columbia | British Columbia, Canada

The team will work with students, staff, faculty members and the UBC Sustainability Office to design and implement a resource consumption competition in UBC’s junior residences. They will be launching this competition in the fall semester of 2010.

The competition will be piloted in Totem Park Residence for first year students. The project will draw on the readings of energy and resource monitoring devices to create a friendly competition that will ideally be delivered every year in Totem and hopefully expand to other residences as well.

The purpose of the competition is to:

  • Reduce consumption of campus resources (water, electricity and steam)
  • Engage students in sustainability learning and practice and
  • Measure the impact of real time monitoring and the use of promotions and incentives to reduce the consumption of resources.

On university campuses, the vast majority of energy consumption takes place within buildings. The environmental and financial consequences of this consumption are considerable. For example, in 2009 UBC consumed over 3.8 million cubic meters of water, 330 million kg of steam, 150,000 gigajoules of direct natural gas and 185 million kWh of electricity, at a cost of approximately $24 million per year.

With approximately 8,000 students living in residence on UBC campus, a substantial percentage of total campus resource use takes place within dormitories. In residential settings, it has been demonstrated that 50% of energy use depends on lifestyle choices, while the balance depends on physical characteristics of buildings and building equipment. Students living in dormitories have a high degree of lifestyle control over electricity and water use. Personal choices, such as how long they shower and whether they leave lights, stereos and computers on have the potential to reduce energy and water consumption. Residence halls are therefore an obvious target for conservation measures.

The measurable goals of this project includes measuring the competition impact, which will be measured in terms of consumption reduction, cost savings, and impact of real-time monitoring and incentives on behavior. During the project design phase, they will be working with student, staff and faculty stakeholders to design the competition and develop our indicators of project success.

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Entry filed under: *Universities in North America, University of British Columbia, British Columbia, Canada. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , .

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