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Use of Innovative Solutions for Energy Savings at UBC 

10-19-2017 11:47


There is an increasing trend in the HVAC industry to match the supply of heating, cooling, outdoor air, and lighting to meet building users’ needs. This is usually accomplished through the use of simple occupancy sensors. UBC Energy and Water Services (EWS), however, has adopted a novel approach to go even further.

Using existing location information inherent to the campus’ wifi system, the team has applied location-based-services to building energy systems. By pinpointing wirelessly-connected devices within buildings, UBC has gained the ability to deliver energy directly to where occupants are and reduce supply where people aren’t, without additional infrastructure. In the pilot use of this controls strategy, UBC saw significant reductions in equipment runtimes and a dramatic decrease in energy consumption. The promising results have led EWS to pursue an aggressive expansion of the strategy’s use.

What initially began as innovative research has since become a fully realized industrial collaboration and UBC’s first Green Revolving Fund project. This presentation will cover the background of wifi-based controls, the challenges faced in undertaking the pilot, and the results which have come from the use of the strategy. They will also discuss the breadth of possible applications of this exciting new data source.


Blair Antcliffe, University of British Columbia


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Blair Antcliffe, University of British Columbia