UBC Undergraduate Research

An investigation into waste heat recovery for usage by a rooftop greenhouse Singla, Rohit; Lord, Jeremy; Hetherington, Jorden


With the creation of a microbrewery, an excess amount of waste heat in the form of steam is produced. In the sustainability principles that the University of British Columbia aims towards, this excess heat is planned to be used as an energy source to provide a greenhouse effect on a rooftop garden. This report is a triple-bottom line assessment on the feasibility of this idea; it is an assessment on the environmental, economical, and social impacts of this waste heat recovery method. Constraints that are taken into this investigation include various factors. The estimations in overall size and choice of construction materials are chosen based on what is the most sustainable choice. The investigation consisted primarily of research in the academic domain as well as ongoing communication with the primary stakeholder. The project is economically viable based on the needs of the alma mater society; the capital investment is not too high and the return is net positive. Socially, the pros outweigh the cons. Students can gain valuable horticultural experience plus unique crops that could be grown in the greenhouse would be beneficial for the student union building. The project is also environmentally feasible because of the low material requirements, low energy demand and reasonable lifespan. As a conclusion, it is recommended that waste heat energy be used to heat a rooftop garden, particularly in a greenhouse method. This proposal satisfies a triple bottom line assessment. 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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