Project Description

University of British Columbia (UBC) – Academic District Energy System (ADES)

The Academic District Energy System (ADES) is one of UBC’s signature initiatives to substantively reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while addressing deferred maintenance at the University’s Point Grey campus in Vancouver, BC. The new $85-million UBC ADES will dramatically reduce campus greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption while advancing clean energy research and development opportunities at UBC. The five-year project replaces the aging steam heating system at this campus with a hot water based system that will heat around 130 buildings used by more than 70,000 UBC students, faculty and staff. The conversion will reduce energy use at the campus by 24%, greenhouse gas emissions by 22%, and operational and energy costs by $5.5 million per year. The project is a long-term investment with a payback period of almost 22 years.

AME worked on nine phases of this 10-phase project (excludes phase 4) and our scope of work included the design of the existing buildings’ Energy Transfer Stations (ETSs) to ensure all connected buildings are compatible with this state-of-the-art district energy system.

The largest source of savings will come from the new system’s ability to heat the campus while operating at a significantly lower average temperature of 80°C – compared to the outgoing steam system which operated at 190°C – thus reducing heat distribution losses. The new system’s lower operating temperature enables increased compatibility with alternative energy supply technologies to integrate current and future UBC clean energy projects into the UBC grid and provides a platform for current and future ‘campus as a living laboratory’ projects.

2016 ASHRAE Technology Award – First Place Region XI and BC Chapter Award, Existing Educational Facility.