UBC Undergraduate Research

Ponderosa Commons energy conservation studies Arunan, Anushiya; Jefferies, Amy; Li, Marie; Ratcliffe, Christine


This report provides an analysis and evaluation of possible demand side management strategies for reducing energy demand in residences in the University of British Columbia with the design of the as-­ yet un-built Ponderosa Phase 1, 2 and 3 student residences used as a case study. Four options had been initially proposed, analyzed and ranked through the means of a sustainability criteria matrix that had been developed for the purpose of this project. The four proposed options are the use of fabric curtains (as opposed to venetian blinds), ‘Nest’ Programmable Thermostats, High-resolution Real time Feedback Systems and Power Strips with attached ‘Universal Plugs’. While the first three options reduce heating loads in residential buildings, the fourth option of the use of Power Strips with attached ‘Universal Plugs’ aims to reduce plug loads. The options, fabric curtains, ‘Nest’ Programmable Thermostats and High-­resolution Real time Feedback Systems performed the best on the whole when assessed using the sustainability criteria matrix that had been generated based on the three defining pillars of sustainability: Environmental, Social and Economic. Consequently, the option of Power Strips with attached ‘Universal Plugs’ has been excluded from the recommendations as it proved to be economically unfeasible at the moment. The sustainability criteria matrix consisted of indicators to measure energy usage reductions, occupant engagement, technical and economic feasibility and academic research potential among other things. Points had been assigned to each of the options depending on how well they fared against the indicators, with highest number of points given to the best performing option and so on. Certain indicators such as reduction in energy consumption were more quantifiable than others like those measuring occupant engagement. As such, a survey was carried out among students to gauge the less quantifiable indicators in a reliable manner. Subsequently, the total number of points was added to rank the options. This conclusions and recommendations proposed in this report have been made after considerable thought and analysis of the information that had been available at the time of writing. While the authors of this report stand by the conclusions and recommendations made in this report, certain limitations of the proposed options have to be also acknowledged. Certain foreseeable challenges in relation to the proposed options are also discussed in this report. 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.”

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada