July 2017 – Solar PV Study Completed (excerpt)

In pursuit of this project, The University of the Fraser Valley would capitalize on its unique position of having readily available infrastructure to build upon, and core organizational values that support the development of an environmentally-responsible project as discussed in this proposal. UFV is primed to be a post-secondary leader in sustainability. The opportunity to install a solar PV array would immediately result in reduced operating costs and showcase the Universities commitment to environmentally-responsible development.

The impact of this type of project would extend beyond the daily operations of the campus, thus benefiting the brand of the University. Great potential lies within our trades programs and the developing green technology industry that is supported by both the provincial and federal government. With an increased onus on developing renewable energy technology projects at UFV, the case for additional programming and funding would be greatly enhanced.

Championing a renewable energy technology project within the Fraser Valley would establish the University not only as an innovative institute, but a steward of cultural and sustainable development. The installation of a solar PV array on the roof of (Building G) the Library would not only support the core values, but also the commitments made to both energy management and sustainability.

 

…time and funding will tell if solar PV is a reality on the Abbotsford Campus. (Solar thermal is already a reality, check out the roof of S bldg.)

March 2018 – EndoTherm

Each year a call for proposals is made for innovative projects and programs. In the summer of 2017 the Energy Manager proposed installing EndoTherm – a 100% organic, biodegradable and is proven to reduce the surface tension of the boiler water by 60-70%. This increases the effective surface area reached by the circulating water which increases the rate of heat transfer. Utilizing EndoTherm would substantially reduce the energy required to properly heat buildings at UFV, resulting in reduced energy costs, and greenhouse gas emissions.

EndoTherm was successfully installed at the following locations:

  • CEP: A, H, T
  • ABB: A, B, C, D, G & S.

Preliminary results have shown savings of 11% @ ABB, 11.8% @ CEP H.

Analysis will be on-going with higher quality data available in winter 2018/2019.

Electric Vehicles – Have We Maxed Out Our Charging Stations?

UFV has four Level 2 stations capable of charging up to 8 vehicles simultaneously that are available to all students, staff, and faculty free of charge. Installed in 2012/2013 at the Aerospace Campus (1), Abbotsford Campus (2), and CEP (1), there was been significant year-over-year increases in unique charging sessions, energy provided for cost-free charging, and emissions reductions from traditional combustion engine vehicles. Data from 2017/2018 supports the commentary from EV drivers that the stations are typically utilized and that the campuses could use more installed charging infrastructure.

In August 2018, two additional chargers will be installed. 1 at CEP Bldg A, and 1 on the southside of ABB Bldg E. These stations will provide broader services and increased accessibility throughout the campuses.

Sessions Energy (kWh) Community GHG Savings (t)
2013/2014 51 227.5 0.096
2014/2015 459 3,150 1.325
2015/2016 971 9,830 4.13
2016/2017 1,357 13,928 5.85
2017/2018 1,396 13,076 5.49

 

September 2017 -> March 2018 – Energy Efficient Residences

In an effort to increase awareness of sustainability on campus, who better to involve than those that live on campus? The Energy Efficient Residences campaign was designed to start to connect students to the campus, and begin to participate in the increasing sustainability culture that is being developed. In coordinating with the Housing Operations staff and management, there was an immediate enthusiasm and commitment to participate in the campaign. They provided valuable insight not only into how to communicate with the residence, but also the particular behaviors that have been observed. The Energy Wise Network was instrumental in developing a framework to approach the residence staff with, providing them with an idea of what success looks like and options for how to get there. The staff enabled and set in motion the action portion of the project to take place in 2018/19 and beyond.

Winter 2017/2018 – Get Your Fleece On! 2.0

Get Your Fleece On! Or, simply “The Fleece Blanket Program” as it became known had a successful sophomore heating season. With the overwhelming response from 2016/17, and the waiting list for inventory that ensued, a continuation of the program was essential. Similar to the previous year, fleece blankets were provided to employees who were feeling consistently chilly in their workspace. That is, only after providing evidence that they had made efforts to have the HVAC system in their area assessed for any deficiencies that may have been causing the cooler temperatures. In addition, a standard was set that those who were requesting blankets must also have been consistently ensuring windows and doors were closed in their area, and that they had been dressed appropriately for the season or weather.

Participants of the program were given insight on the adverse effects of space heaters, and asked to sign a pledge that stated they would use such devices less, or remove them entirely from campus.
This year, a survey was developed: Part 1 asked why participants were feeling cool, and in the spring, part 2 was distributed to provide opportunities for feedback on how the blankets affected their comfort levels.

There were significantly less blankets distributed this year compared to last (18 vs. 125). Does this mean that nearly everyone that was once feeling chronically chilly is now comfortable? Had the conversations about HVAC and the diligence from the mechanical staff paid off from troubleshooting and correcting problematic spaces? Likely, it was a bit of both.

As energy efficiency, carbon emissions reduction, and sustainability at increasingly promoted and supported at UFV – students, staff and faculty are much more understanding of the pressing nature of these issues, and welcome any forms of solutions – in this case, passive personal temperature regulation.

Feedback provided indicated a clear appreciated by uncomfortable staff members to have their concerns heard, and moreso to have action taken to improve their comfort at work.

Interestingly, there were an increased number of complaints received by the Facilities Department with regards to occupants being ‘cool’ or ‘cold’. Was this in response to having a proven willingness to act on those complaints, and a strong track record for feedback upon completion of the work? Time will tell.

November 2017 – Sweater Week – Selfie Contest and Lots of Prizes

November 20-24th, 2017, the annual Sweater Week was run, building on successes from the 2016 event. From an operational level, this year it was decided that temperatures would be lowered by 2c (to a minimum of 19.5c). These reductions would be realized across all academic buildings and offices at both main campuses in Abbotsford and Chilliwack for the entire week, rather than administering a progressive reduction of temperatures, as was done in 2016. This reduced GHG emissions more significantly than the previous strategy and created more talking points, affording more opportunities for participation.

Again, the main source of engagement was a social media contest, in which students, staff, and faculty were encouraged to post Sweater Week selfies on social media (Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram), or email selfies to the Sustainability Coordinator. Furthermore, volunteers formed the “Sustainable Selfie Squad,” which set up a daily station in the cafeteria during the coffee time and lunch time rushes to further drive engagement and get people talking about greenhouse gas emissions and sustainable practices as a whole.

$200 in prizes were handed out, including 5 $20 Campus Card fills to use at any food establishment on campus, along with 2 $50 grand prize gift cards to Valhalla Pure Outfitters, for “Best Overall Selfie” and “Most Dedicated Sweater Weeker.”

With an increased Selfie Squad presence and momentum from last year, Sweater Week 2017 saw a 15% increase in engagements from 79 to 91. Additionally, a 24% increase in unique engagements, from 38 to 47.

The most successful Sweater Week to date.

LEED Gold Celebration Events (September 2017 & January 2018)

UFV is home to two LEED® Gold certified buildings.

Canada Education Park Building A was built in 2012, and emits 68% less carbon per m2 annually than other non-certified buildings at UFV. On September 26th the plaque was unveiled with speeches and cake.

Abbotsford Building S, the Student Union Building, was built in 2014, and achieved a 67% reduction in natural gas use per m2 compared to other non-certified buildings during the cold winter of 2016/2017. As mechanical staff become increasingly acquainted with the building, energy efficiency too has increased. On January 8th the plaque was unveiled with speeches and cake.

July 2017 – Sustainable Energy Management Plan (SEMP) Report Published

The Sustainable Energy Management Plan Report for 2016/2017 supports UFV’s commitment to energy efficiency and conservation by providing a framework for reducing energy consumption and its associated environmental impact. Within the Report is an outline of the actions completed, the progress made, and plan moving forward to ensure our operations are as energy efficient as possible.

Any questions or comments can be sent to the Energy Manager: blair.mcfarlane@ufv.ca

UFV SEMP 2016-2017

February 2017 – Get Your Fleece On!

In an effort to increase the comfort of staff and faculty while maintaining our commitment to energy efficiency throughout an unseasonably cold winter, Facilities and SustainableUFV have purchased 125 UFV branded fleece blankets (a cost covered entirely by BC Hydro). The blankets were rapidly requested by and delivered to those who found their workspaces to be consistently cool – but not before a rigerous selection process!
In order to qualify for a fleece blanket, requesters must have:

  • Ensured all windows in their space were closed
  • Utilized layers and/or sweaters
  • Submitted a work request form to address any HVAC deficiencies

Following that, if the problem persisted, a blanket was delivered with the understanding that they were to offset the use of space heaters, or turning up the thermostat in times of cooler temperatures. Space heaters in particular continue to wreak havoc on facilities management as we tend to blown breakers, witness safety hazards, and observe significantly higher energy consumption and poor efficiencies.

Nearly 50% of those who received a blanket have pledged to turn off their space heaters and/or to refrain from turning up the thermostat, and to use the blanket for passive personal temperature regulation.

We’re looking to expand the Get Your Fleece On program later in 2017, and hoping for a warmer winter 2017/18.