UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Bridging the gap between theory and practice of green building water system at the University of British Columbia, Canada Badiei, Sahar


The sustainability of the built environment involves efficient performance of all related systems, including the water system. The way water is consumed in urban areas is proven to be inefficient and unsustainable. Although the green building industry has taken profound steps to reduce water footprints in the built environment, a significant gap is observed in predicted and actual performance of water systems in some green awarded projects. Therefore, this thesis aims to review, question and redefine water systems on paper and in practice of green building in the University of British Columbia (UBC) Vancouver campus. Water strategies within current green building practice are studied to find the performance gaps. The Center for Interactive Research of Sustainability (CIRS) building was researched as a case study through different lenses of academics, planners, designers, builders and operators, who were involved with this project. This research finds a number of successes and areas for improvement in water strategies of the CIRS project. The performance gaps are due to a lack of a comprehensive water plan for UBC, policies and incentives for water pricing, and not engaging all stakeholders in early stages of the process. Finally, this research recommends improving campus-wide water policies and plans and enhancing collaboration and integration throughout all phases of building projects. These strategies can bridge the gap between theory and practice of water systems in future green building projects at UBC.

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