Ecocity Insights: Reducing energy use at BCIT

In the interest of achieving ecological sustainability, meaning use of ecological goods and services within nature’s carrying capacity, the scientific community is calling for a four to ten-fold reduction in global levels of energy and materials consumption. Growing concerns about energy security coupled with evidence of anthropocentrically induced climate change, habitat degradation and species loss, global fisheries decline, desertification and water shortages point towards the relevance of the scientific community’s challenge despite perceptions that such targets are “unrealistic.”

Inspired by the outcomes of this initiative (SOCE 2009), School faculty, staff and students set about implementing their ideas. As a first step, the School is applying leading edge technology to the challenge of achieving a four to ten-fold reduction in energy and materials consumption of a portion of the BCIT Burnaby Campus known as the “Factor IV area” while maintaining service levels.

Key initiatives include:

–        75% energy reduction

–        75% material reduction

–        Street repair

–        Guichon creek – day lighting

–        Rethink NE1 (a large building within the Factor IV area)

Students, Faculty and Staff have worked to together during the last few months to establish a baseline, a reduction target and a list of projects needed to meet the factor IV reduction in energy.  The energy throughput reduction target of Phase 1 (excluding the rethink of NE1) is 12,000 GJ/yr.

Image 1) Methodology used to reduce energy by 75%

Good news! A reduction by 75%, or 12,000 GJ/year, is possible in the buildings located in the Factor IV area – while maintaining service levels. Even better: all projects identified by Students, Faculty and Staff come with a positive return on investment (i.e. they make good financial sense!).  Key projects that were identified are:




Smart Meters Installation in-progress. Real time data will be made available to students.


Wood dust Extraction Completed. Students did original energy audit; one case study written.


NE6 High Efficiency condensing boilers Completed. Designed and installed by Faculty; used by students in piping programs.


Heat doctors Completed. n/a


Biomass system Engineering study and business case in progress; principle investigator or team of investigator now needed; Some capital secured. One case study written; Boiler house will be designed for students; Faculty involved in project development.


Welding ventilation in NE8 Engineering study and business case completed; need capital. Students did original energy audit; one case study written.


NE6 Outdoor welding Project team created. To be confirmed.


Lighting Redesign Engineering study in progress. n/a

To learn more, please contact:

Jennie Moore

Alexandre Hebert

Andrea Linsky


School of Construction and the Environment. 2009. Reducing Our Ecological Footprint Video. Burnaby, BC: British Columbia Institute of Technology. Available at:

Sinclair, ed. 2008. Campus Design and Planning: Culture, Context and the Pursuit of Sustainability. Ottawa: Canada Green Building Council

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