UBC Graduate Research

Strategies for reducing energy & carbon intensity of a Vancouver townhouse complex Hoy, Mike


A townhouse building in Vancouver, Canada was studied to see what energy and emissions savings were possible through implementation of practical energy improvement measures. It was found that a 60 – 65% reduction in energy consumption was possible through measures that have no impact on household comfort or function. These measures yield a levelized savings of roughly $650 per year and a simple payback of five years. These measures have the potential to make these townhouses 5 times more efficient than the average Canadian residential building and 4 times more efficient than a typical British Columbia town-home. The suggested measures will introduce a mix of improved efficiency, behaviour change and new energy supply. This comprehensive approach is required to achieve maximum potential savings. All suggested improvement measures are recommended to be implemented at the unit level as opposed to the building level. This is because expectations vary significantly amongst the home owners, and energy use in this building is already separated by unit. Energy and emissions savings may be eroded by the behaviour of the residents by up to 26%. Clear understanding of the available savings and disciplined behaviour will be key to maximizing the potential of the suggested measures. These results are most relevant to other town-homes in British Columbia, particularly in the Metro Vancouver area and on Vancouver Island. In conjunction with University of British Columbia. Clean Energy Research Center. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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