UBC Undergraduate Research

An investigation into sustainable patio heating solutions for Koerner’s Pub UBC Hundal, Ajai; Mistry, Ajay; Syskakis, Tomas; Virk, Ishan


The University of British Columbia (UBC) strives to be a global leader in campus sustainability. Koerner’s Pub, a well-established pub and restaurant on campus, is committed to improve its reputation as a sustainable and eco-friendly establishment. To fulfill this goal, Koerner's is investigating possible solutions to contribute to the environmentally conscious mentality that UBC is world renowned for. This report will outline the investigation into the financial, environmental and social aspects of the implementation of a new energy efficient patio heating system at Koerner’s Pub. By implementing a sustainable patio heating system, Koerner's could extend their outdoor season thereby increasing capacity, improving their brand and attracting more customers and events during the winter and fall months. The purpose of this report is to provide a Triple Bottom Line assessment (TBL) that will advise the stakeholder, Tim Yu, how Koerner’s Pub can implement a sustainable, cost-effective and socially viable patio heating system. Several onsite visits to Koerner's Pub were conducted to gain a comprehensive understanding of the present patio heating situation. Currently, there are three forms of heating being used in the patio area: propane stand-alone heaters (mushroom design), an infrared heater as well as an inherited electric filament heater. Various surveys and meetings with local restaurants proved that propane heaters were the most popular choice and thus using them as a benchmark, alternatives were researched that were more efficient, eco-friendly and cost effective. To research alternative heaters using a TBL assessment, the economic, environmental and social impacts of each heater had to be considered. After narrowing down the preferences to infrared electric, infrared natural gas and propane mushroom heaters, the following summary shows how it was concluded that implementing a system of infrared electric heaters would be the best choice: Economic: Low overhead costs and utility expenses are included in the pub’s lease agreement. Environmental: No fossil fuels are burned leading to almost zero carbon emissions during operation. Social: No operating maintenance is required and each heater is portable as extension cords are safer to route around the patio area, as compared to natural gas lines and propane tanks. The subsequent areas of this report will go into detail regarding the environmental, financial and social aspects of procuring a suitable heating system for the Koerner's Pub patio area. 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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